English Learner Exit Criteria

The Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) is the state’s annual summative assessment of English language proficiency, which provides documentation of English learners’ progress toward English proficiency. A student’s OELPA results determine whether the student is eligible to continue as an English learner or is proficient and ready to exit the language instructional education program. This page explains the standardized criteria needed to exit English learner status, as established under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in Ohio’s ESSA plan.

Performance levels

There are three overall performance levels: 1 - Emerging, 2 - Progressing and 3 - Proficient. A student’s overall performance level is determined from the scores earned on each of the domain tests that comprise the OELPA (reading, writing, listening and speaking). Each domain test is scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Scores of 4 and 5 correlate with proficiency in that domain. Students with an overall performance level of Proficient may be exited from English learner status.

OELPA Overall Performance Levels

1 - Emerging 2 - Progressing 3 - Proficient
Any score combination of 1s and 2s across all nonexempt domains.  Any combination of scores across the nonexempt domains that is not Proficient or Emerging.  Any score combination of 4s and 5s across all nonexempt domains. 
Student continues as an English learner.  Student continues as an English learner. Student exits from English learner status. 

Who can exit English learner status?

Only students, including those with documented domain exemptions, who achieve an overall performance level of Proficient on the OELPA exit from English learner status. The overall performance level of Proficient is defined as domain scores of 4s and 5s in any combination across all nonexempt domain tests (listening, reading, writing and speaking). For students who achieve a proficiency status of Progressing or Emerging, schools will determine and provide the appropriate services to ensure students’ development of English language proficiency and access to the curriculum. Untested and invalidated domains are considered 1s for this purpose, so students who did not attempt one or more test domains in the absence of a valid exemption or had one or more test domains invalidated cannot achieve an overall performance level of Proficient. These students will be considered Progressing or Emerging depending on their performances on the scored domains.

For information on domain exemptions, please see Section V of the Accessibility Manual for Ohio's English Language Proficiency Assessments

For more information, please refer to the Ohio Department of Education’s OELPA webpage and OELPA resources on the test portal, or contact the Department by email to statetests@education.ohio.gov or phone at (614) 466-1317.


Last Modified: 8/18/2022 12:03:05 PM