ERIC Number: ED458225
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Assessment and Accommodations for English Language Learners: Issues and Recommendations. CRESST Policy Brief 4, Summer 2001.
This policy brief addresses the inclusion of English language learners (ELLs) in large-scale assessments and ELL assessment accommodations. The inclusion of ELL students creates specific accountability policy challenges. States differ in the students they include and their inclusion policies and accommodation practices, and, at present, inclusion does not address the different language and knowledge skills within the ELL population. Another problem is that ELL test results may be used inappropriately to sort or retain students. Issues of validity, effectiveness, differential impact, and feasibility must be considered in planning the inclusion of ELL students. Research from the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing has shown that the only accommodation that narrowed the gap between ELL and non-ELL students was linguistic modification of questions with excessive language demands. Providing extra time, using a glossary of key terms on the test plus extra time, or reducing the language complexity of the test questions resulted in substantially higher scores for ELL and non-ELL students. The brief provides eight recommendations for policymakers involved in the inclusion of ELL students. These include developing a common definition of ELL students, taking students' backgrounds into account, modifying tests or providing accommodations in accordance with educational research, and monitoring and evaluating accommodations closely. (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Accommodations (Disabilities), Accountability, Educational Policy, Language Proficiency, Limited English Speaking, State Programs, Test Results, Test Use, Testing Programs, Validity
CRESST/UCLA, GSE & IS Building, Mailbox 951522, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1522. Web site: http://www.cse.ucla.edu.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.