This guide, part of a series for charter schools, prepares schools to better assess the effectiveness of their English Language Learners (ELL) program. It is designed to assist educators in developing appropriate materials and accessing relevant resources. This guide was developed after a study showed that the quality of language support rests upon the experience of staff and the staff’s skill in using the most helpful resources.
The bottom line? To be effective, ELL assessment must be culturally responsive
Findings & Stats
Educators often do not have the experience to recognize the cultural and linguistic strengths and weaknesses of ELLs.
Charter schools are allowed greater flexibility to implement programs that the local community determines will benefit students.
Educators have an opportunity to see assessment as a strategy for enhancing learning and for being responsive to the community.
Student over State
The main aim of assessment should be to inform and improve instruction, not as a means to satisfy state and federal regulations.
Informal assessment can be divided into 2 main types: unstructured (work samples, journals) and structured (checklists, observations).
Statements & Quotations
Assessment is the fair and reliable measurement of student abilities and progress… ELL students, then, must be assessed appropriately within the context of an assessment system for all students.
All assessments, both large-scale and classroom-based, should be built around and linked directly to the instruction that takes place in classrooms.
Content mastery or academic achievement assessments are conducted at specific intervals in the academic year, while the language proficiency and special purpose assessments are given throughout the year and with their own specific cycles.
Again, any test in English for ELLs is an English-language proficiency test, and cannot accurately reflect what ELL students know and are able to do in content area subjects.
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