Educational Testing Service Developing Test Items for ELPA21 Consortium

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Princeton, N.J. (April 7, 2014) —

The English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) Consortium has selected Educational Testing Service (ETS) to be its contractor for the design and development of items for the screener and summative English Language Proficiency Assessment.

The ELPA21 Consortium is a group of eleven states, led by the Oregon Department of Education, developing an advanced English-language assessment to measure the progress of English language learners (ELLs) as they move through their K–12 education and achieve college and career readiness. The ETS-constructed items, with input from the consortium states, will be used to create a screener and year-end summative assessments that will be administered to students in grades K–12.

"With over five million English language learners in America's public schools it is vital for us to develop assessments that can accurately assess the English-language abilities of this growing population of students," said John Oswald, Vice President and COO of K–12 Student Assessment Programs at ETS. "ETS is proud to work with the ELPA21 Consortium and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to provide states with the tools required to better address the needs of their ELL students."

Teachers and staff from the consortium states are critical to the item development process. State personnel, CCSSO staff and national consultants are working collaboratively with ETS, the leader of the team in the development process. CCSSO serves as the consortium's project management partner. In addition, teachers are working directly with assessment developers in the creation of items including selected-response, constructed-response and technology-enhanced questions in the domains of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Furthermore, the items will be computer-based and aligned to the English Language Proficiency Standards developed by states, WestEd, the Understanding Language Initiative of Stanford University and CCSSO.

Once the assessments are operational, educators and education officials will be able to use the summative assessment results for state accountability systems, measuring student progress, prompting instructional improvement and certifying program exit.

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

About ELPA21

ELPA21 is a consortium of 11 states — Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia — developing an assessment system designed to measure the performance of English language learners (ELLs) as they progress through their K–12 education and achieve college and career readiness. The consortium is collaborating with the Understanding Language Initiative of Stanford University; the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) of the University of California, Los Angeles; the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) of the University of Minnesota; and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The Oregon Department of Education is the lead state agency, and CCSSO is the project management partner. www.elpa21.org

 

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