COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
July 9, 2010
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Section 1111 (b) (7) of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires that school divisions annually assess the English language proficiency of limited English proficient students in kindergarten through grade 12. As communicated in Superintendent’s Memorandum, Number 218, October 5, 2007, the Virginia Board of Education has selected Assessing Communication and Comprehension in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs®) as the state-approved English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment.
During the 2010 legislative session, the Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill (SB) 354 which states that local school divisions may administer a locally developed or selected ELP assessment that has been approved by the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) in lieu of administering the ACCESS for ELLs®. In order to be approved by the VBOE, any locally developed or selected assessment must be aligned to the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessments (WIDA®) Consortium ELP Standards. Further, formal studies demonstrating the comparability of scores resulting from the locally selected or developed assessment to scores resulting from ACCESS for ELLs® must be provided. A list of criteria and detailed information for submitting locally developed or selected ELP assessments for approval by the Board of Education is in Attachment A. The division’s proposed ELP assessment and required documentation must be submitted to the Virginia Department of Education by October 29, 2010, using the required cover sheet provided in Attachment B. A panel will evaluate the assessment and present recommendations to the Board of Education for final approval. Payment for the ELP assessment will be the responsibility of school divisions.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact student assessment staff by e-mail at Student_Assessment@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-2107.