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ERIC Number: ED539746
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 111
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
Guide for Refining State Assessment Policies for Accommodating English Language Learners
Rivera, Charlene; Acosta, Barbara D.; Willner, Lynn Shafer
George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education
In meeting the inclusion provisions for English language learners (ELLs) in state assessment systems, it is important to assure the meaningful representation of what students know and can do. States have relied on accommodations as one of the principle means to increase the validity of ELL test scores. Yet current knowledge about effective accommodations for ELLs is limited. Moreover, because accommodations were originally implemented to support students with disabilities, many states have not distinguished between accommodations for ELLs and students with disabilities. In contrast to students with disabilities who need accommodations that address their particular disability, ELLs need accommodations that provide "linguistic" support. This support is needed to help them demonstrate what they know and can do on assessments given in English. Additionally, it is important to recognize the heterogeneity of the ELL population. To increase the validity and reliability of assessment results for ELLs, policy makers will need to carefully consider how to accommodate ELLs at varying stages of English language proficiency (ELP), native language literacy, and with differing educational backgrounds. The aim of this Guide is to support states in refining assessment policies so they are more responsive to the linguistic needs of ELLs. It is designed to help state education agencies build policies that coherently address ELLs, and that clearly distinguish the accommodation of ELLs from the accommodation of students with disabilities. The paper also provides an overview of research on accommodations and highlights studies on specific accommodations for ELLs. This is followed by a discussion of the relevant findings from the Descriptive and Best Practices studies, which form the foundation for the organization and content of the Guide. A glossary of terms is included. (Contains 1 table.) [This publication was supported by the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) LEP Partnership.]
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Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education