English Language Proficiency Assessment

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English language learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing student population within the United States. According to a recent report by the U.S Government Accountability Office, approximately 5 million ELL students were enrolled in schools, representing an estimated 10% of all public school students (GAO, 2006). In California, it is already the case that more than 25% of the students in grades PK-12 are ELLs (Stokes-Guinan & Goldenberg, 2010). Therefore, it is of utmost importance to understand the issues concerning instruction, assessment and classification of ELL students for educators, administrators and school psychologists. It is also imperative to note that English language proficiency assessments play a vital role in the life of an ELL …show more content…
The fair and valid assessment of ELL students is among the top priorities on the national educational agenda (Francis, Rivera, Lesaux, Kieffer &Rivera, 2006). States are required to provide an annual academic assessment of English language proficiency and assure the monitoring of students’ English language development. These new mandates have generated significant challenges for states with respect to standards and test development; test validity; and accountability policy development and implementation (GAO, 2006; Zehr, 2006; Abedi, 2004; Crawford, 2002). There are several major concerns of English language proficiency assessments, first and foremost is the test validity, second the cultural bias of the assessments, third the nonstandard administration and fourth the assessment does not pair with …show more content…
State guidelines for reclassifying students from EL to RFEP require that schools consider multiple criteria in addition to the CELDT, such as performance on the California Standards Test in English Language Arts, local district criteria, and parent opinion and consultation (California Department of Education, 2008). Consequently a high score on the annual CELDT is not likely to have negative impact for students however a low CELDT score can prevent a student from being considered for reclassification which can be detrimental to the students academic

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