COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 067

December 19, 2003

ADMINISTRATIVE

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Assessments for Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students to Meet the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Requirements

 

 

The purpose of this memorandum is to describe the options for school divisions with regard to the assessment of LEP students as required by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The options are as follows: 1) a brief description of the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA), which may be used a) as the test of English language proficiency required for LEP students, and b) as a state-approved substitute for the Standards of Learning assessment in English: Reading for certain LEP students; 2) state-approved special forms of Standards of Learning assessments in mathematics for certain LEP students; 3) census field testing with the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA); and 4) submission of locally-developed and/or selected English language proficiency assessments.

 

The English Language Development Assessment (ELDA)

 

The ELDA is an English language proficiency assessment that has been developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) through a United States Department of Education Enhanced Assessment Grant. The grant, managed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), is a collaborative effort among 14 states that have worked together for more than a year to assist in the design and development of the instrument. A separate form of the ELDA has been developed for each of the four grade clusters defined in Virginias English Language Proficiency Standards of Learning: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Additionally, each form of the ELDA contains four components: 1) speaking, 2) listening, 3) reading, and 4) writing as required in Section 1111(b)(7) of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The ELDA will yield a score for each of these four components. Additionally, as required only for Title III sub-grantees in Section 3121(d) of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the listening and reading components of the ELDA will be combined to yield a comprehension score. The ELDA will also yield an overall composite score for each student.

State-Approved Assessments in Reading and Mathematics for Certain LEP Students

 

In critical element 5.4 of the Consolidated State Application Amended Accountability Workbook (http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/nclb/VA-AcctWkbk.pdf) submitted to the United States Department of Education in compliance with requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Virginia received approval for certain LEP students to use state-approved assessments linked to the Standards of Learning (SOL).

 

Beginning with the 2003-2004 school year, LEP students at the lower levels of English language proficiency (Level 1 and Level 2 as determined by Virginias English Language Proficiency Standards of Learning) in grades 3 through 8 will have the option to use the reading component of the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) as a substitute for the English: Reading SOL assessment. Additionally, these same students will have the option to take a plain English version of the mathematics SOL assessment. LEP students may take either or both of these assessments for only three consecutive years and only if their English language proficiency remains at Level 1 or Level 2 during that time. Decisions regarding LEP students participating in the state assessment program must be guided by the school-based committee convened to make LEP determinations as described in the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools In Virginia, 8 VAC 131-30 G. LEP students scores on the reading component of the ELDA and the plain English version of the mathematics SOL assessment will be used to calculate adequate yearly progress (AYP) for schools, school divisions, and the state.

 

Funding for the reading component of the ELDA for the LEP students in grades 3, 5, and 8 in proficiency levels 1 and 2 will be provided by the Virginia Department of Education.

 

Census Field Testing with ELDA

 

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to offer all school divisions with LEP students the opportunity to participate in the census field test administration of all four components of the ELDA for the 2003-2004 school year. The census field test administration of the complete ELDA will be permitted for use by school divisions as the English language proficiency assessment for K-12 LEP students as required in Section 1111(b)(7) of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Additional details about the administration of the ELDA as well as training for test administrators will be forthcoming in a future superintendents memorandum.

 

In accordance with standard procedure for all field test administrations of state assessment instruments, the Virginia Department of Education will pay for the administration costs associated with the complete ELDA for the 2003-2004 school year. In future years, school divisions will be responsible for the cost of the administration of the ELDA with the exception of the cost of the reading component for Level 1 and Level 2 LEP students at grades 3, 5, and 8 who use the ELDA as a substitute for the English: Reading SOL assessment.

 

Submission of Locally-Developed and/or Selected English Language Proficiency Assessments

 

School divisions may use the state-developed test, ELDA, as the test of English language proficiency required for LEP students. They may also submit locally-developed and/or selected English language proficiency assessments for review.

 

In accordance with the guidelines set forth in the non-regulatory Title III, Part A, Guidance on Standards, Assessments, and Accountability, school divisions that wish to submit their locally-developed and/or selected English language proficiency assessments for Board of Education approval must ensure that 1) the assessments are aligned with Virginias English Language Proficiency Standards of Learning; 2) the assessments are equivalent to one another in their content, difficulty, and quality; 3) the assessment data can be aggregated for comparison and reporting purposes as well as disaggregated by English language proficiency levels and grade levels; 4) the assessments have been designed and developed to assess LEP students English language development; and 5) the assessments yield sub-scores in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and comprehension as well as a composite score. (The comprehension score may be a composite of the reading and listening scores.)

 

The process for submission of such instruments is as follows. School divisions must submit: 1) a letter of intent, signed by the division superintendent, to use locally-developed and/or selected instruments to measure the English language proficiency of their LEP students; 2) a completed summary sheet (Attachment A); and 3) the locally-developed and/or selected English language proficiency instruments. Submissions must be received on or before January 23, 2004. Submissions must be forwarded to: Roberta Schlicher, ESL coordinator, Virginia Department of Education, 101 North 14th Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Gordon Trump, director of assessment and reporting, at (804) 225-2102 or by e-mail to darfax@mail.vak12ed.edu, or Roberta Schlicher, ESL coordinator, at (804) 786-1692 or by e-mail to rschlich@mail.vak12ed.edu.

 

JLD/rls

 

Attachment

 

/administrators/superintendents_memos/2003/adm067a.doc