Blog: Common Core & ELLs: Assessment

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) released its Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines last week. In this week’s post, I’ll walk you through the Guidelines’ contents and open up a couple of areas for discussion around how the Guidelines might impact you in the classroom.

Since teachers will need to plan their CCSS-based instruction around the CCSS standards as well as the CCSS-based assessments, I thought it would be helpful in part 1 of this post to dissect a sample test task from an ELL point of view in order to take a closer look at what the item might mean for ELLs and those who teach them.

Big news at the end of the last week: On Friday, Education Week’s Michele McNeil reported that a months-long standoff between the state of California and the U.S. Department of Education has ended, with federal officials approving a waiver allowing the state to administer the Smarter Balanced field tests this year instead of its state testing program.

I recently had the opportunity to facilitate three roundtable discussions on the implementation of the CCSS for ELLs in Miami, Florida.

This blog post focuses on ELL considerations that are important for schools and districts to address in planning their assessments, including accommodations on CCSS content assessments and aspects of computer-based assessment might prove to be especially challenging for ELLs.  It also recommends some resources to support ELLs’ success in computer-based testing.

Lesli Maxwell at Education Week reports that the final version of the accommodations manual has just been released, and she also includes information about PARCC’s debate around testing supports for special populations in her coverage.

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