Assessing English Language Proficiency in U.S. K–12 Schools

English Learners in U.S. K-12 SchoolsRoles of Standards-Based K-12 ELP AssessmentsKey Research Areas for Supporting Best Practices of ELP AssessmentDefining an ELP ConstructSustaining Validation ResearchUsing Technology in ELP AssessmentsConnecting ELP Assessment and InstructionConcluding RemarksReferencesSECTION I. Contexts and Fundamental Considerations in the Development of K–12 ELP AssessmentsStandards-Based K–12 English Language Proficiency Assessments in the United States: Current Policies and PracticesSignificant Court Cases and Legislation Relevant to ELP AssessmentLau v. NicholsCastaneda v. PickardNo Child Left Behind Act of 2001Common Core State StandardsEvery Student Succeeds ActCharacteristics of Current ELP AssessmentsAssessment ContentLanguage DomainsStandardized ContentContent That Reflects Language Development/Growth within and across GradesAssessment Consortia and Independent StatesConsortiaIndependent StatesVariation in Approaches to Challenges in Assessment AdministrationAssessment of Very Young ELsComputer-Based AssessmentOne-on-One AssessmentConcluding RemarksNotesReferencesThe Construct of English Language Proficiency in Consideration of College and Career Readiness StandardsThe Federal Policy Context of ELP Standards and AssessmentsRole of Language Development Theory in Exploring the ELP ConstructUnderstanding Contexts of Language UseUnderstanding Language FunctionsUnderstanding Linguistic ComplexityIntegrated Language and Literacy SkillsUnderstanding Individual Differences and Learners' CharacteristicsEvolving ELP Standards and Constructs in Relation to Academic Content StandardsIdentifying Language Knowledge and Skills in CCR Standards and ELP StandardsExamples from CCR Content StandardsExamples from ELP StandardsImplications for Determining the Construct(s) to Be Measured by ELP AssessmentsConcluding RemarksAcknowledgmentsNoteReferencesInnovations and Challenges in K–12 English Language Proficiency Assessment TasksOverview of Three Major K-12 ELP Assessments in the United StatesInnovations in K-12 ELP Assessment TasksThe Inclusion of Technology-Enhanced ItemsThe Provision of Scaffolding in TasksUniversal Tools Embedded in AssessmentChallenges and Suggestions for Innovative K-12 ELP Assessment TasksDeveloping Age-Appropriate Innovative TasksDeveloping Appropriate Test Administration Procedures for Innovative TasksScoring Innovative Constructed-Response TasksConclusionReferencesA Review of Validity Evidence on K–12 English Language Proficiency Assessment: Current State and Future DirectionBackground and Theoretical Frameworks for ELP Assessment ValidationValidity Evidence Collection and Regulatory GuidanceEvidence Based on Test ContentEvidence Based on Response ProcessesEvidence Based on Internal StructureEvidence Based on Relations to Other VariablesEvidence for Validity and Consequences of TestingReliability and Other Technical QualityParticular Challenges for Validating ELP Assessment SystemsValidation Research on Reclassification DecisionsAttention to Consequences of ELP Assessment UseAssessing Young English LearnersInclusion of ELs with Disabilities in ELP AssessmentsConclusionReferencesSECTION II. Empirical Research and Practical Considerations on the Development of K–12 ELP AssessmentsCollaborating with Educators on the Development of English Language Proficiency AssessmentsKey Parties Involved in the Design and Development of K-12 ELP AssessmentsClassroom Educator Involvement in the ELPACPilot Study of Task TypesItem Writing WorkshopsItem Review PanelsSample Selection to Support Constructed-Response ScoringSupport for Score Reporting: Performance Level Descriptor Reviews and Standard SettingPerformance Level DescriptorsStandard SettingImpact of the Involvement of EducatorsRecommendations for Successful Involvement of Educators in PracticeNoteReferencesExamining Students’ Response Processes in a Computer-Based English Language Proficiency AssessmentRelevant LiteratureAdvantages of Computer-Based ELP AssessmentsValidity Evidence Based on Response Processes for Computer-Based ELP AssessmentsStudy Contexts and Research QuestionsMethodParticipantsStudy InstrumentsItem Types Included in the StudyTutorial Development for the StudyProcedureAnalysisFindingsClarity of Directions and Types of DifficultiesStudents' Interaction with TE FeaturesRecommendations and Actions Taken Based on FindingsConclusion and Future ResearchNotesReferencesAPPENDIX: Cognitive Lab Interview Questions and Rating ScalesGenerating Score Reports: Psychometric Issues to ConsiderThe Summative ELPAC Test Structure and Score ReportPsychometric Analyses to Generate Score ScalesOverview of Dimensionality AnalysisOverview of Vertical Scaling AnalysisAnalysis of the Summative ELPAC Field Test ResultsStudy One: Dimensionality AnalysisStudy Two: Vertical Scaling AnalysisDiscussionReferencesValidating Threshold Scores for English Language Proficiency Assessment UsesContexts of the Present Study: Timing for Setting and Validating Performance LevelsELPAC Standard-SettingDesign of the Standard-Setting WorkshopStandard-Setting Results and Recommendation for Validation StudiesStudy 1: Threshold Score Validation Study Using the Contrasting Groups MethodStudy SampleStudy FindingsStudy 2: Analyses of the State ELP Assessment in Relation to the State ELA AssessmentData SourcesMethodsDistribution of EL students by Overall Performance Level on ELPAC: Two Rounds of AnalysesEL students' Performance on the State's ELA Assessment by Overall ELP Performance Level: Two Rounds of AnalysesResults from Descriptive Box Plots: Two Rounds of AnalysesSummary of Findings from Contrasting Groups and Two Rounds of ELP/ELA AnalysesComparing Performance on the State's ELA Assessment of EL students with ELPAC Overall PL 4 to Similarly Situated EO Students and New RFEP StudentsSummary and DiscussionNoteReferencesAccessibility Considerations for English Learners with Disabilities in English Language Proficiency AssessmentsEnglish Learners with DisabilitiesELP Assessment Context for ELSWDsAssets-Based PerspectiveVariabilityDesigning Accessible AssessmentsAccessibility in ELP Assessment in Current PracticeAssessment AccommodationsComplex Interactions between Construct, Disability, and AccommodationsValidity and Fairness of ELP Assessments for EL students with Disabilities: An Example from One StateAn ELPAC Cognitive Lab StudyValidity and Fairness IssuesEnhancing Validity and Fairness of ELP Assessments for ELSWDsRecommendations to Improve Accessibility of ELP AssessmentsClearly Define the Constructs to Be Measured in an Inclusive and Universally Accessible MannerIdentify the Range of Test Taker Characteristics from Disabilities to Accommodations in NeedInclude a Multidisciplinary Design TeamConsider Appropriateness, Efficacy, and Opportunity to Learn in Accommodation AssignmentDetermine Whether Domain Exemptions Will Be NeededDevelop Guidance for Which Students May Need an Alternate AssessmentAttend to Accessibility at Every Stage of the Assessment Design and Development ProcessImplications for Future Research, Policy, and PracticeNoteReferencesSECTION III. Some Future Considerations in K–12 ELP AssessmentUsing Automated Scoring in K–12 English Language Proficiency AssessmentsBenefits and Challenges of Automated ScoringAutomated Scoring System ComponentsPreprocessingFeature ExtractionScoring ModelFiltering ModelAutomated Scoring Use CasesExtended Written Response ScoringSpoken Response ScoringPractical Considerations and RecommendationsAssessment Construct and Task Design ConsiderationsScoring and Score Reporting ConsiderationsAutomated Scoring Model Development and Test Delivery ConsiderationsConclusionNoteReferencesTeachers’ Perspectives on the Use of Summative English Language Proficiency Assessments for Instructional PurposesCurrent Summative ELP AssessmentsEducators' Views and Uses of Summative ELP AssessmentsAssessment TimingClassroom Practitioners' Use of the Summative ELP ScoresPurpose of the Study and Research QuestionsMethodsParticipantsProceduresAnalysisFindingsResearch Question 1: How Did the Content and Delivery Mode of a Summative ELP Assessment Influence Teachers' Classroom Practices?Content of the ELP AssessmentDelivery Mode of the ELP AssessmentResearch Question 2: What Types of Instructional Decisions Did Teachers Make Based on Their EL students' Scores on the Summative ELP Assessment?To Inform Assessment PracticesTo Make Placement and Grouping DecisionsTo Measure EL students' Progress over TimeTo Inform Other Teachers in the School about How to Support EL StudentsResearch Question 3: What Factors Affected Teachers' Use of Student Scores on the Summative ELP Assessments for Instructional Purposes?Timing of the Score ReportsLack of Detail in the Score ReportsScore Reports Not Meaningful to StudentsValidity Concerns about the Speaking ScoresDiscussionImplications for Score ReportingLimitations and Directions for Future ResearchReferencesToward a Model of Validity in Accountability TestingReform Policies and Accountability TestingValidity in the Standards: Sources of EvidenceKane's Argument-Based Validity ApproachBachman and Palmer Assessment Use ArgumentValidation and AccountabilityConsequences and Accountability Testing: A Shared ResponsibilityAccountability Testing and Anticipatory Research: Social Impact Analysis and Theories of ActionConcluding RemarksNoteReferences
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