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The ParaPro Assessment

Demonstrate your essential knowledge and skills


ParaPro Test Development

Why the test was developed

ETS's ParaPro Assessment was developed in response to the federal legislation known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which has replaced NCLB, leaves these requirements in place. The law requires paraprofessionals serving in an instructional capacity to do one of the following:

  • hold an associate of arts degree
  • complete 2 years of college
  • demonstrate, through a state or local academic assessment, that they are knowledgeable in reading, writing and math and capable of assisting in classroom instruction.

How the test was developed

The ParaPro Assessment reflects the most current research and the professional judgment and experience of educators from across the country. It was developed with the assistance of an advisory committee composed of paraprofessionals and the teachers who work with them. A thorough job analysis was conducted to determine what knowledge and skills in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics, and in assisting in instruction in these areas, are important for ParaPro professionals. The content also reflects the reading, writing and math content described in published standards for paraprofessionals (PDF).

Ensuring validity

Validity for the ParaPro Assessment is based on connecting test content in reading, writing and math to job-knowledge requirements. That connection was made by a nationally representative committee of 34 paraprofessionals and teachers, who defined what content knowledge is most important for instructional paraprofessionals to know. As an added validity measure, ETS is conducting a web survey of paraprofessionals and teachers from across the country to supplement the committee's findings.

Known as content-based validity, this validation method is recommended in the AERA/APA/NCME Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.

Ensuring quality and fairness

Each test edition is reviewed multiple times for accuracy, fairness and relevance as it's developed. After the test is given, but before scores are released, each question undergoes rigorous statistical analysis to confirm that it is accurate, comparable to previous tests and fair to test-taker subgroups.

These procedures meet and exceed the exacting standards of the professional measurement community and ETS's own Standards for Quality and Fairness (PDF).

The ParaPro Assessment is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis to confirm that it provides the valid information needed by states and districts to meet legislative mandates.