Items — ELPA21 developed a pool of over 2,600 items which were used to assemble the first operational assessment in Spring 2016. The pool includes a wide variety of items including
- Selected-response items require students to select one or more responses from a list of options and may include both multiple-choice and true-or-false formats.
- Technology-enhanced items, comprising at least 20 percent of the assessment items, require students to respond to questions by interacting with the test item. For example, a student might place words in the appropriate order, select text in a paragraph, or match objects to words.
- Constructed-response items require students to provide text or record speech or respond to a task, and include both short and long constructed-response items.
The item type used for a particular skill and context is determined by matching the evidence needed to the most appropriate method for acquiring that evidence. In addition, some of the items use digital media (sound, animation, video, or interactive widgets) as the setting for the test question.
Reporting – ELPA21 assessment scores inform ELL program eligibility and exit decisions, provide English language proficiency progress monitoring, indicate instructional needs of ELL students and resource needs of ELL teachers, and provide evidence of program effectiveness. Reporting includes individual student reports that describe growth in English language proficiency over time; a grade-level classroom roster report; and school, district, and state summary reports by grade level. Individual states determine how the reporting information is shared to each audience.
Educators can use ELPA21 scores to
- Determine the proficiency level of ELLs and whether they qualify for ESL services
- Determine the proficiency level of ELLs relative to the performance standards for their grade (band) level
- Measure how much students’ proficiency in English progresses from year to year
- Allow teachers and parents to monitor ELLs’ annual progress
- Make ELL reclassification decisions
- Determine which districts are meeting annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAO) targets, and identify school districts in need of assistance
- Inform evaluations of program effectiveness for various subgroups of students and adjust educational programming and resources as needed
- Help school and district officials identify the types of professional development and/or support teachers’ need
Screener – The screener is being developed from the same item bank as the summative assessment for each of the six grade bands. The screener will help schools assess the baseline English language proficiency of incoming ELLs and inform placement and instructional decisions.
Summative – The summative assessment includes multiple fixed forms per grade band to provide increased security. This assessment is administered near the end of the academic year. ELPA21 completed its first operational summative assessment Spring 2016.