Acknowledging the diverse and rich language experiences that English language learners (ELLs) bring to school, the ELPA21 states recognize that English language proficiency is constantly growing.
The ELPA21 assessment system measures that growth based on the new English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards and provides valuable information that informs instruction and facilitates academic English proficiency so that all ELLs leave high school prepared for college and career success. The ELP Standards are available here.
The ELP Standards correspond to states’ rigorous content standards in English language arts, mathematics, and science. WestEd developed the standards based on the following goals:
- The standards will correspond and be used in tandem with the college and career readiness (CCR) standards for mathematics and for English language arts mathematics, and science.
- The standards will highlight and amplify the critical language, knowledge about language, and skills using language in CCR standards necessary for ELLs to be successful in school.
- The standards will be fewer, clearer, and higher so teachers can focus on what’s most important for college and career readiness.
The ELP Standards must also be:
- Based on theory, research, and best practice
- Understandable, usable, and easily transferrable to classroom curricula and instruction for English language development
- Meaningful and coherent
- At an appropriate level of specificity/granularity, with examples
- Concise and measurable
- Aligned horizontally and vertically
To develop the ELP Standards, WestEd took the following actions:
- Developed proficiency level descriptors
- Refined initial drafts, incorporated state feedback, and improved connections across Parts I, II, and III in the spring of 2013
- Provided an analysis of the ELP Standards’ correspondence to the CCR standards
For a deeper look at ELPA21's policy-making process as it relates to the adoption and implementation of the ELP Standards, take a look at this video: