ERIC Number: ED459473
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Nov-14
A Review of the Literature on Early Childhood Cognitive Academic Language Assessments Suitable for Use in Ethnically Diverse School Systems.
Although there are many regions of the country that have historically been ethnically and linguistically diverse, school system data as well as information from the 2000 census and other sources has indicated that many hitherto homogeneous regions of the country and their educational institutions have experienced significant growth in populations of immigrant children and their families. Thus, many school systems have faced new challenges to meet the needs of these children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, including issues related to providing bilingual or English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) education for their Limited English Proficient (LEP) children. Sources were selected from current extant psychometric reviews, the U.S. Department of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Center for Applied Linguistics, the various ERIC Clearinghouses, the U.S. Census Bureau, and position and policy papers on ESL and English Language Learning student testing and placement from the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), and the Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE). The review examined the literature for approaches used to determine content, construct, and predictive validity of kindergarten cognitive diagnostic assessments and their usefulness for making decisions about prekindergarten students and groups of students from ethnically diverse populations. The paper: (1) identifies the most current literature related to the examination of item domain goals and objectives, sources for sample items that could be useful to equate with other prekindergarten assessments in order to develop item banks that measure children's cognitive academic language proficiency; and (2) examines the extant literature on differences in skill attainment of preschool male and female children and children from ethnic minority groups identified as LEP or ELL (English language Learners). The paper also addresses some of the pitfalls to be aware of in assessing ethnically and socioeconomically diverse populations of preschool children, assessment items and item wording that might present difficulties for ELL children, and issues involved in using dichotomous or polytomous rating scales for scoring performance assessments. (Contains 47 references, and 3 tables and 2 figures of data. An appendix contains a Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (30th, Little Rock, AR, November 14-16, 2001).