WIDA Standards and Assessment


The Minnesota Department of Education joined the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium in 2011

The WIDA Consortium is a non-profit cooperative group whose purpose is to develop standards and assessments that meet and exceed the goals of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and promote educational equity for English language learners (ELLs). Through standards, assessments, research, and professional development, WIDA provides meaningful tools and information to educators working with ELLs that are anchored in research-based practices for serving these diverse learners.

WIDA Standards

In July 2011, SPPS joined the WIDA Consortium and adopted the WIDA standards, assessments, and guiding principles. The conceptualization of academic language and language development in academic contexts has been and continues to be upheld by WIDA’s Can Do Philosophy and Guiding Principles of Language Development which are a synthesis of literature and research related to language development and effective instructional practices for language learners.  These Guiding Principles represent core beliefs about language development.  WIDA’s Can Do Philosophy is based on the belief that all students bring to their learning cultural and linguistic practices, skills, and ways of knowing from their homes and communities, which also ties into the SPPS racial equity policy.   

English Language Development (ELD) Standards: innovative and renowned, these standards have been adapted by TESOL as the national model and are used by thousands of educators to set curricular goals, plan differentiated lessons, and measure student language growth.

WIDA Assessments


ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It is given annually in WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English.


W-APT stands for the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. It is an English language proficiency "screener" test given to incoming students who may be designated as English language learners. It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELLs. The W-APT is one component of WIDA's comprehensive assessment system.


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