Students with limited English skills will be exempted from state tests under a resolution passed by the State Board of Education.
The board Thursday ordered the state to develop an alternative to the Michigan Educational Assessment Program tests for those students.
Board members say the existing MEAP tests are ill-equipped to measure limited-English students' skills.
Under the new policy, students who have been in the United States for less than three years may be excluded from the English-language MEAP tests.
After three years, all children must be tested in English under the federal "No Child Left Behind Act."