ELPA21 is a group of states producing tests to measure the language development of English language learners (ELLs). ELPA21 was awarded a $9.1 million, four-year Enhanced Assessment Grant from the U.S. Department of Education in September 2012.
ELPA21 includes 10 states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia.
The goal is to provide assessments that best measure English language learners’ mastery of the communication demands of states’ rigorous academic standards.
ELPA21 uses the federal definition of English learner available on the U.S. Department of Education's Data Express website here: http://eddataexpress.ed.gov/definitions.cfm.
According to the USDOE, an English Language Learner is, "An individual who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English; or who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; or who is an American Indian or Alaska Native and who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on his or her level of English language proficiency; and who, by reason thereof, has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language to deny such individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English or to participate fully in our society."
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.
The ELPA21 assessment system will measure student proficiency relative to the new English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards developed by WestEd, CCSSO, the Understanding Language initiative of Stanford University, and states. The assessments assess English language proficiency in English language arts, mathematics, and science. The assessments will measure all four accepted language domains: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These domains are also known as reading comprehension, written production, listening comprehension, and oral production skills.
Yes. Students will receive an Individual Student Report that describes growth in English language proficiency over time. There will also be a Grade-Level Classroom Roster Report and school, district and state summary reports by grade-level.
The assessments will be administered online to students in consortium member states.
ELPA21 is producing two types of assessment: a screener and a summative assessment. The screener will be developed for each of six grade bands (K, 1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–8, and 9–12) and will allow schools to assess baseline English language proficiency of incoming ELLs. It will be used to inform placement and make instructional decisions. The summative assessment will include two fixed forms per grade band for increased security. This assessment will be administered near the end of the academic year.
ELPA21’s screener is a short test form designed to be administered to students soon after they enter the school system to help determine if they are in need of ELL services.
Although specifications are still under development, the goal of ELPA21 is to deliver the test and reports online. The reports will be provided at the state, district, school, and classroom levels.
All ELPA21 consortium states will use the ELPA21 assessments in place of their current English language proficiency assessments.
Yes. ELPA21 will be the primary ELL assessment tool in all consortium states. Criteria for assessing entry, placement, and exit from ELL programs will be the same across all ELPA21 states.
The ELP Standards were developed by CCSSO, WestEd, and the Understanding Language Initiative of Stanford University, and correspond to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards. Proficiency level alignment is yet to be determined.
ELPA21 does not offer an alternate ELP assessment form. The ELPA21 consortium was tasked with developing regular ELP assessments before the July 2014 Federal Guidelines on alternate ELP assessments were released.
No. Given the fact that ELPA21 is a language proficiency assessment, and PARCC is a content area assessment, some ELPA21 accessibility features and accommodations will differ from those available on PARCC assessments. Some terminology and specifications of accessibility features and accommodations as well as policies for how they should be administered may also differ. Please refer to the ELPA21 Accessibility and Accommodations Manual for information on ELPA21 accessibility features and accommodations.(Note: The ELPA21 Field Test Accessibility and Accommodations Manual will be available in early December 2014, and the manual for the operational assessment will become available later in 2015.) For those students who have IEP or 504 plans, their IEP or 504 teams would make decisions related to both accommodations and designated features.