December 8, 2011

ACCESS for ELLs 2012 Announcements

ELL Inclusion

All students in Illinois public schools, with limited English proficiency are required to participate in the annual ACCESS for ELLs assessment from January 9 until February 10, 2012. For policy questions regarding the ACCESS administration, contact Barry Pedersen in the Student Assessment Division of ISBE at 866-317-6034, or Boon Lee in the Chicago ISBE office at 312-814-3850. For questions about materials, contact MetriTech at 800-747-4868. Technical questions about ACCESS may be addressed to the WIDA Help Desk at 866-276-7735.

“Do Not Score” Box

School and district staff should be aware that federal law does not allow ELLs to be excused from language proficiency testing for any reason. Illinois public schools are obligated under NCLB to attempt this assessment for all students with limited English proficiency. Do not use the bottom row of squares (SPD) in the box entitled “Do Not Score This Section For This Student” on the back test booklet cover, in the lower right corner. Please, disregard the instructions on p. 29 of the ACCESS Test Administration Manual for using the Deferred Special Education/504 option. ACCESS for ELLsTM is a consortium product, and not all options apply to all states.

Alternate ACCESS

WIDA is making available a version of ACCESS designed for students with cognitive disabilities called the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.  Unfortunately, the Alternate ACCESS will not be available soon enough for the Illinois 2011-2012 administration.  Therefore, Illinois will not make use of the Alternate ACCESS until 2012-2013.  All ELLs assessed during 2011-2012 should use the standard version of ACCESS.  Late testing with the Alternate ACCESS is not allowed for state accountability.

ACCESS Changes for 2012

ACCESS test administrators need to be aware of changes for the 2011-2012 assessment cycle.

New for the Speaking Test in 2011-2012:

New for the Writing Test in 2011-2012:

The Grades 3-12 Tier A tests will now feature a Language of Language Arts (LoLA) writing task for Part B, instead of the current Language of Mathematics (LoMA) writing task. Part A remains a Social Instructional (SI) task and Part C an integrated Language of Mathematics (LoMA)/Language of Science (LoSC) task.  The number of writing tasks remains unchanged.

The Listening and Reading test procedures are unchanged from 2010-2011.