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Role of the Research Partner in the EVEA Project: The State of Washington. Alison L. Bailey, UCLA CCSSO, NCSA, Detroit, June 22, 2010. Outline. Highlight the role of the research partnerships Chronology of activities as a Research Partner (RP) with the State of Washington

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role of the research partner in the evea project the state of washington

Role of the Research Partner in the EVEA Project: The State of Washington

Alison L. Bailey,



Detroit, June 22, 2010

  • Highlight the role of the research partnerships
  • Chronology of activities as a Research Partner (RP) with the State of Washington
  • Example deliverables and products
  • Reflections/lessons learned
evea project goals
EVEA Project Goals

Addressing the validity of English Language

Proficiency Assessments (ELPA), research

partners and states work together to:

  • Build:

- individual State Interpretive Arguments (SIA),

- a Common Interpretive Argument (CIA),

2. Design a set of studies and instruments to support and test these arguments (pilot level)

3. Make instruments publicly available

role of research partnerships
Role of Research Partnerships
  • Collate information about the partner State’s ELPA system
  • Identify and prioritize validity issues; input from Expert Panel (language and measurement experts, on-going contact)
  • Create and pilot validation plans
  • Foster collaboration between all RPs on protocol development, common issues, etc.
wa state project goals
WA State Project Goals
  • Create State Interpretative Argument (SIA) for the validity of the ELPA
  • Identify:

- Claims/assumptions in the ELPA

- Dimension of validity evidence

- Source of evidence

  • Prioritize, design and pilot validation plans

1. Collating Information on WA State ELD Tests and Standards (Assessment & Student Information Division; Migrant & Bilingual Education Program) Description of the WA State ELPA System

system key components
System Key Components
  • Identifying population of potential ELL students with the Home Language Survey:

“Triggered” by affirmative response to Question#2: Is your child’s first language a language other than English?

2. Screening students with WLPT-II Placement Test

3. Requiring WLPT-II Annual Assessment of all Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (TBIP)-eligible students (EL services)

the washington language proficiency test ii wlpt ii
The Washington Language Proficiency Test-II (WLPT-II)
  • Augmented Stanford English Language Proficiency Test (Pearson/Harcourt)
    • additional items aligned with WA ELD Standards
    • 4 levels of proficiency: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced & Transitional
  • First administered 2005-2006 school year
  • WLPT–II Placement Test
    • Transitional (Level 4) not eligible for TBIP services
  • WLPT–II Annual Assessment
    • Level 1 indicates minimal or no English language proficiency
    • Level 4 indicates a level of English language proficiency sufficient to be instructed through an English-only instructional program
intended purposes and uses of the wlpt ii annual assessment
Intended Purposes and Uses of The WLPT-II Annual Assessment

Federal Accountability:

  • Annual Measurable Achievement Objective 1 (progress)
  • Annual Measurable Achievement Objective 2 (proficiency)
    • Criterion for AMAO 2 (achieving proficiency)
      • Transitional (Level 4) on WLPT-II Annual Assessment
additional uses
Additional Uses
  • Reclassification to Fluent English Proficient (R-FEP):
    • Transitional (Level 4) to exit TBIP services
  • Program evaluation instrument

2. Identify and Prioritize ELPA Validity Issues(OPSI Staff, Expert Panel, RP & EVEA team) WLPT-II Validity Plans and Creation of the WA SIA

foundations document generic
Foundations Document (Generic)
  • Identifies the external linguistic and developmental factors by which to judge the legitimacy of the assumptions expressed in the existing ELPA system, namely:
    • second language acquisition theories
    • articulation of learning progressions for English language proficiency (ELP), and
    • the ELP construct adopted (or implied) by the ELD standards and assessments
  • Raises issues that need to be considered in light of these assumptions, and
  • Makes suggestions for moving forward.
foundations document wa specific
Foundations Document (WA Specific)
  • SIA
  • Description of the WLPT-II
  • Description of the WA State ELD Standards
  • Catalogue of technical reports, existing validity studies:
    • Example: Evaluations of the Content of WLPT-II:
          • Studies of alignment with WA ELD Standards (2005-6)
          • Item writers trained to write augmented items aligned with the test blueprint
          • Existing SELP items modified if necessary
          • Items were sampled in ELL classrooms (directions clear/items “reliable” indictors of students achievement)
          • Results from IRT and DIF analyses for different groups of test-takers (limited to potential gender biases)

EXAMPLE Organization Chart (EVEA Project)

Purpose 1:

The ELPA is used to calculate growth in English Language acquisition over the year to determine school/program effectiveness

identifying prioritizing issues
Identifying & Prioritizing Issues
  • Vertical scaling/year-to-year fluctuations:
    • Variation in exit (Transitional Level 4) percentages year-to-year by grade level and test form
    • Concerns: used as the TBIP services exit criterion (R-FEP)
identifying prioritizing issues1
Identifying & Prioritizing Issues
  • Different ELL program eligibility and exit criteria:
    • Home Language Survey (HLS) and WLPT-II Placement Test used to qualify new students for TBIP services
    • WLPT-II Annual Assessment used as program exit criterion (and as program evaluation instrument)
    • Concerns: HLS used as the initial identifying instrument (false positives/negatives)
ideas for investigating fluctuations
Ideas for Investigating Fluctuations
  • Study of Test-level factors:
    • Comparable forms: Issues with equating forms?
    • Document and evaluate item selection process (Content analysis?)
  • Study of External factors:
    • ELL program changes
    • Reduction in funding (less admin. training)
    • Changes in enrollment demographics

»Language background/new immigrant groups – direct and mediated by HLS less “accurate” for some groups (over/ under-identified)

ideas for improving initial identification of ell population
Ideas for Improving Initial Identification of ELL Population
  • Creation of an “Enhanced” HLS:
    • Pilot additional questions based on language use in specific activity settings (e.g., research-base showing predictive validity of parent questionnaires about oral and print home practices and later oral language and reading outcomes in English; Reese & Goldenberg, 2008).
  • Possible oral interview protocol for non-literate parents
    • Responsive to recent Somali refugee population
additional areas of study
Additional Areas of Study
  • The Role of the WLPT-II in Language and Content-Area Instruction (surfaced by EP):
    • Survey teachers to determine:
      • Whether teachers use WLPT-II results to plan content-area instruction for students (adaptation of existing CRESST teacher survey of science OTL and academic language exposure), and
      • What level of instruction supports the English language needed for success on the WLPT-II
reflections lessons learned
Reflections/Lessons Learned

1. Liaising across OSPI Divisions and Programs:

  • Dialogue across “silos”, often for first time
  • Easier for an outsider?

2. Meeting with Expert Panel & 5 EVEA States (tailoring SIA surfaced additional issues):

  • What are the boundaries of the Assessment Division’s responsibility and sphere of influence?
  • Do teachers use ELPA scores? If so, how?
  • Need for the Foundations Document & more time!
reflections lessons learned1
Reflections/Lessons Learned

3. RP Monthly Discussions:

  • Address individual state and larger, across-state issues/RP interests (e.g., wider adoption of Foundation Document; White paper on HLS practices: differences and similarities)
  • Accountability (impetus for steady progress)

4. Time(ing) & Attention:

  • Variation in size/capacity of state Assessment Divisions (recommend staff designated to work with RP)
  • EVEA versus… RTTT.
thank you
Thank You!

Contact Information:

Alison Bailey:

Project Website:


EVEA Project: ELPA Common Interpretive Argument (2nd Draft)

Students have been appropriately identified to participate in the ELPA

The ELD standards have been developed to support the acquisition of English language proficiency necessary to achieve academic content and performance expectations.

Programs successfully move more ELL students into the Proficient category and exit them out of the ELP programs

ELP assessment scores/ performance levels are used appropriately to inform decisions about progress in attaining English language proficiency

Teachers have the knowledge, skills, and orientation necessary to provide instruction in support of academic English language acquisition

The ELP assessment has been designed to yield scores that reflect students’ knowledge and skills in relation to academic English language expectations defined in the ELD standards.

ELL students become proficient in English, acquiring the academic language skills necessary to participate fully in instructional discourse conducted in English.

ELP assessment scores/ performance levels accurately reflect students’ English language proficiency

The ELP assessment is administered as intended