The ELPA21 consortium, established under a 2012 Enhanced Assessment Grant from the US Department of Education, has developed a robust, easy-to administer, innovative assessment system based on the new ELP standards. The consortium relies on guidance from our members to develop and constantly improve our assessments and support to member states. The assessment system is built by members, for members, with ongoing input and balanced control over future development of the assessment system.
The ELPA21 assessment system includes: an online Screener assessment for six grade bands (K, 1, 2/3, 4/5, 6-8 and 9-12); annual online Summative assessments; paper assessments; large-print assessments; and blind/low vision test forms for each of the same six grade bands. Every item in the ELPA21 item bank has been custom-developed using evidence-centered design practices to be innovative, with technology-enhancements to assess language proficiency more accurately than legacy assessments, and to exceed industry standards for inter-operability and accessibility.
After the administration of ELPA21 summative assessments in 2016 and 2017, members reported efficiencies in administration that have resulted in reduced test times and costs, higher student engagement, and increased ease of administration. In May of 2015, ELPA21 and ETS were awarded an IMS Global Learning Award, Silver Medal for work that is fully compliant with Accessible Portable Item Protocol (APIP 1.0) interoperability standard.
Two Levels of Membership
The Basic and Comprehensive membership packages offered through ELPA21 at UCLA are specifically tailored to accommodate varying budgets and capacity across member education agencies. Current and potential members include U.S. states and territories, governmental agencies, and other entities. Packages offer both general operations and administrative support, and services specific to ELPA21 test administration with added benefits for member states that choose the Comprehensive package.
Basic members receive core test administration services as well as basic administrative support for activities related to accounts payable/receivable, human resources, grant management, legal services, IT support, communications, and procurement services. Basic level services for test administration include:
- Assessment Research and Reporting: psychometric studies; research on ELLs and subpopulations; peer review documentation and preparation; ESSA compliance and reporting
- Item Development: an item bank wholly composed of new and unique items to measure ELP standards that reflect the language demands of today’s classrooms; on-going item bank refreshment
- Iterative Standard Setting: critical review of cut scores, measures of growth and attainment
- Membership Engagement: professional development modules; opportunities to serve on work teams; collaborative governance and decision-making; shared responsibility for products and services
- Scoring Development: training and qualifying materials; rubrics; range-finding and anchor paper sets
- Test Development: on-going product development; refinement of blueprints, paper test forms for the summative test and for the blind/low-vision summative test forms for each grade band
- Vendor-to-vendor support: including services critical for basic members selecting their own test administration vendors
Comprehensive membership is designed to give states the full benefits of the ELPA21 assessment system while minimizing the level of effort and administrative burden on state staff, allowing for cost savings. These added benefits include:
- Test Administration: including test registration, test delivery, production of paper forms for each grade band; production of blind and low vision test forms; training plans for test administration; and platform and system trial studies
- Test Implementation Support: including monitoring and alerting, identifying management and services, Help Desk support for teachers and administrators, implementation guides and manuals specific to test engine, general communication tools and templates
- Scoring and Reporting: machine-automated scoring, human scoring; scanning and scoring paper tests; customized reporting
- Management of procurements, vendors, and contracts: development of statements of work and requirements, management of vendors, review of deliverables, contract execution, and oversight
- Streamlining of test administration: central development of administration manuals, test administration training, student practice tests, hardware specifications and installation guides, platform configuration, Help Desk oversight, issue resolution
For additional information on becoming an ELPA21 member state, contact ELPA21 at UCLA, info@ELPA21.org.