Developing Standards and an Assessment Together
In 2013, WestEd, the Understanding Language Initiative of Stanford University, and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) developed a set of English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards that correspond to states' college- and career-ready (CCR) standards for English language arts, mathematics, and science. Using an Evidence-Centered Design (ECD) framework, the ELPA21 assessment instruments were developed with test items that are aligned to the ELP Standards. The specifications are tightly linked to the definitions of evidence that stem from the ECD process.
The ELPA21 assessments include many interactive item types which will help to provide a more accurate and reliable measure of students' English langauge proficiency. The ELPA21 assessment system improves the efficiency of data collection, management, sharing, and reporting, and reduces administrative burdens on school and district staff.
ELPA21 is delivered online, incorporating technology-enhanced items that allow students to indicate their responses in ways that differ from those of traditional paper administrations. The assessment items allow for more innovative responses and students are given the opportunity to respond to items in ways not previously available in paper formats. The assessment platform is compatible with other college and career readiness assessment consortia platforms.
ELPA21's Theory of Action
A Theory of Action (ToA) describes how ELPA21 is facilitating the move from current English language (EL) expectations and instructional practice to those necessary for ELLs to gain proficiency in the academic language used within math, science, and ELA, and to ultimately become college- and career-ready. The ToA describes how ELPA21's mission is being carried out, aligning intended assumptions with the organizational context of ELPA21. It connects strategy to action and identifies the multiple dependencies required for the successful implementation of ELPA21's vision. Please click here to view ELPA21's Theory of Action.
An Assessment for Most Test-Takers
ELPA21 has incorporated accessibility and accommodations considerations in all aspects of test design, including item development. Specific areas of focus include:
- alignment of the assessment system to the ELP Standards
- fairness of test items and performance tasks for all students
- reliability of scores
- validity of score interpretations
ELPA21's Theory of Action for an Alt-ELPA
This year, in collaboration with the National Center for Educational Outcomes (NCEO), an alt-ELPA21 committee produced the Theory of Action: Alternate Assessment of English Language Proficiency for ELs with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities (2018). This seminal piece is based on a set of core beliefs and foundational assumptions that address emerging needs and challenges of ELs with significant cognitive disabilities. Please visit the Accessibility and Accomdations page of this website for more information on ELPA21's focus on these students.