Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Practices in Psychoeducational Reports for English Language Learners

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Past researchers suggested there are a number of shortcomings in the psychoeducational evaluation process and practices used with English language learners (ELLs). In the present exploratory study, the authors descriptively examined the assessment practices used in the special education eligibility determination process for ELLs as documented in 34 psychoeducational evaluation reports in one southwestern state. The authors reviewed psychoeducational evaluation reports prepared by school psychologists to determine (a) the extent to which school psychologists adhered to legal and ethical guidelines in the evaluation of ELLs for special education eligibility and needs and (b) how school psychologists account for cultural and linguistic differences in the evaluation process. Results indicated that school psychologists rarely used culturally and linguistically responsive practices such as the use of interpretation and translation services and language proficiency data, as well as limited adherence to legal and ethical recommendations. We address implications for training and practice.