Summer 2016 Standard Setting Impacts
In 2016 the WIDA consortium met for a process called a Standard Setting. In this activity, educators from around the US met and analyzed student answers on the ACCESS for ELLs. They used their understanding of the demands of college- and career-readiness standards to determine what level of performance was needed to be demonstrated by students to be proficient in English.
The impact of this Standard Setting was to raise the bar for proficiency significantly. Students will likely show a pause in ELP growth in 2016-17, as they “catch up” to these new proficiency demands. See the WIDA web page for more information.
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- ACCESS for ELLs Score Reports
- WISEdata ELP Codes
- Family Denial of EL Services
- Transfer-student data in ISES
- Timing of Data
Sample ACCESS for ELLs score reports can be found on the WIDA website. Parent guides and sample letters are available there in a number of languages, along with interpretive guides. Score reports themselves are mailed to districts in approximately Mid-April, and are available for download from the WIDA AMS in over 40 languages.
WISEdata is Wisconsin’s new statewide student data system which houses student data required to meet state and federal accountability measures.
Every student, English Learner (EL) or not, has an English Language Proficiency (ELP) code in WISEdata:
- For students who were never EL, (the majority of students), their ELP code is listed as 7.
- For students who are former ELs, having demonstrated full English proficiency, their ELP code is listed as 6.
- For students who are currently ELs, their ELP code is a reflection of how proficient they are in English, on a scale from 1-5, with 1 being the lowest, and 5 being nearly proficient.
ELP levels 1-6 stem from the WIDA English Language Development Standards, the basis for Wisconsin’s EL support system. In this framework, ELP 1 indicates students with very limited English skills, while ELP 5 and 6 represent students with extensive English skills, nearly on par with native English speakers.
WISEdata ELP codes come from one of three places:`
Upon enrollment, all students are administered a Home Language Survey (HLS), which is the first instrument used to help identify ELs. If a HLS indicates that a student may be EL, they are administered an ELP screener. DPI approves the W-APT or MODEL for kindergarten screening, and the WIDA Screener for grades 1-12. ELP Screeners return an overall composite score of 1-6, where scores lower than 6 indicate a need for EL services. These scores have a single decimal place, (3.7, e.g.) and this score is truncated (3.7 -> 3) and entered into WISEdata.
The exception to this are students who score proficient (6.0) on the ELP screener. They are coded in WISEdata as ELP 7 (never EL).
Students should only be screened one time, and thus it is unlikely for a student to ever have more than one ELP Screener score. The presence of an ELP code in WISEdata that is below 6 indicates that a student is an EL.
Students who are ELs (ELP of 1-5) must take the ACCESS for ELLs assessment every winter. ACCESS for ELLs produces an overall composite ELP score with a single decimal place, (3.7, e.g.) and this score is truncated (3.7 -> 3) and uploaded into WISEdata by DPI during the summer. Students scoring an Overall Composite of 5.0 or greater may be entered as either ELP 5 (still an EL) or ELP 6 (Former EL, Exited Services) based on the district’s determination as to whether or not the student has achieved full English proficiency.
In some cases, district administrators can override the existing ELP code for a student in their local SIS and replace it with one that is more appropriate for the student. This can occur:
if a student has a 5.0 or greater Overall Composite ELP, and other evidence shows that they have demonstrated full English proficiency, the ELP code can be changed to a 6.
if a student has exited EL status (ELP 6) but other evidence demonstrates that the student is not fully proficient, the ELP code can be changed to a 5.
Students in all grades who achieve an Overall Composite of 5.0 or greater are eligible to be exited from EL services. Districts should consider other evidence of proficiency before making this determination.
If a student reaching an Overall Composite of 5.0 or greater is deemed to not be proficient, their ELP should remain a 5. If a student reaching an Overall Composite of 5.0 or greater is deemed to be proficient, their ELP should be changed to a 6 to indicate that they have exited EL status. WISEdata will accept either a 5 or a 6 for a student who scores at least a 5.0 Overall Composite.
Students reaching 6.0 on the ACCESS for ELLs must be exited from EL status. WISEdata will not allow a student with a 6.0 to be reclassified as EL with an ELP lower than 6.
In some cases, reclassification may not be appropriate for the student. If it is determined that a loss of EL services would be detrimental to the student, their ELP code can be changed back to a 5, and they will remain an EL. This is done in the local SIS, and WISEdata should not issue a warning when this is done.
In rare instances, for students who are not EL but who were administered the ACCESS for ELLs assessment, a Certification of Change form must be completed by a district administrator and sent to DPI. If approved, DPI will remove the ELP code stemming from the ACCESS for ELLs assessment, and the district will be able to enter an ELP code of 7, “never EL”.
In rare cases a student can be administered an ELP screener while having an ACCESS for ELLs score on file. In that case, the ACCESS for ELLs score will be the most valid and reliable indication of the student’s English language proficiency, and should be the ELP code in WISEdata.
In the case of a screener being administered twice, determine which score is more reliable and use that score. Most often, this will be the most recent score.
Families have a right to opt their student out of EL Services. However, despite a student not receiving EL Services:
- The student remains an EL, and their ELP code in WISEdata does not change
- The student must continue to be administered the ACCESS for ELLs summative test every year, and their WISEdata ELP code will get updated to reflect their score each year
- The district is still responsible for the student’s progress in becoming proficient in English, despite not being allowed by the parents to provide EL support
These factors remain in effect until the student graduates, transfers, or achieves a proficient score on the ACCESS for ELLs assessment and is exited from EL services.
Once a student is enrolled in your district from another district in state and this enrollment data is uploaded to WISEdata, you may notice that an ELP error appears in WISEdash Portal. Clicking ‘Details’ on the error message will show what ELP your SIS has pushed to WISEdata, and the expected value, based on previous testing in Wisconsin. If an ELP assessment was administered previously, this ELP code may be used in place of a screener for determining ELP services. However, should other measures call into question the previous district’s determination, you have an obligation to ensure that the student is being appropriately served.
Upon enrollment, federal law requires that all students must have a determination of EL/not-EL made within 30 days. Due to this requirement, most ELP screener scores are entered into ISES in September or October. For schools who do spring enrollment, the scores are entered either in spring when the ELP screener is used, or in fall when the student starts school.
In a few other cases, such as a change in school district midyear, an ELP screener score could be entered at other times. However, the determination of EL/not-EL is required to be made within 2 weeks (14 days) of enrollment, and language supports offered if needed.
ACCESS for ELLs is administered in the winter, generally from early December until early February. Scores are received back in the spring, and generally uploaded by DPI into WISEdata in the summer.
If it is necessary to update or correct an WISEdata ELP code, this can be done in the local SIS at any time, provided it is an allowable change within WISEdata. In the case of a Certification of Change to remove an ELP code of 1-6 from a student who was never EL, this will be done in July and early October.
This chart outlines the critical points in time for data handling to ensure that ACCESS for ELLs testing is implemented successfully.