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January 7, 2008

ISBE DELL e-Broadcast 2007.85 - Assessment Accommodations for Students Who are Limited English Proficient (LEP)

Assessment Accommodations
for Students Who are Limited English Proficient (LEP)

Illinois State Board of Education staff have finalized the list of accommodations that may be used when administering the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) to our students who are Limited English proficient (LEP). We have compiled a wide array of accommodations because we know this is a diverse population with varying levels of English proficiency. It should also be noted that this is the first time in Illinois that any accommodation with native language has ever been used.

In compiling this list of accommodations, agency staff researched best practices for statewide assessment of students who are LEP in other states and received valuable input from the State Testing Review Committee. Staff also worked under many constraints, as do you. We must comply with state and federal laws, and we are further constrained by contractual, monetary and other issues.

Prior to the administration of this spring's ISAT and PSAE, staff will schedule multiple regional training sessions to help educators better understand the appropriate use of these accommodations.  It is our goal that by providing this training and variety of accommodations, district personnel will be able to utilize those most appropriate for each individual student.

A guidance document is currently under development and soon will be available, as will a list of dates and locations of training sessions.

Illinois Standards Achievement Test Accommodations for
Students who are Limited English Proficient (LEP)
AND
Have Been Eligible* for Language Support Services (Transitional Bilingual Education/Transitional Program of Instruction) for Up to 5 years

Timing/Scheduling

  • Extended assessment time
  • More frequent breaks

Setting

  • Administration of assessment in a distraction-free space or alternate location (e.g., Bilingual/ESL setting, or location within the room) with appropriate supervision 
  • Administration of the assessment in a small group
  • Administration of the assessment on an individual basis

Presentation

  • Reader scripts and audio recordings (in English) for math and science
  • Directions
    • Scripted test directions written in native language read to student**
    • Repetition of scripted directions (English or native language) based on student request
    • Restatement of directions in simplified/modified English (unscripted)
    • Emphasis on key words in directions
    • Verification of the student's understanding by having the student repeat the directions in English
  • Word-to-word glossaries providing translation of English noncontent-based words into native language for math and science**

Response

  • For extended-response items, dictated responses (in English) transcribed to standard answer document

*Further explanation will be available on the ISBE website through http://www.isbe.net/assessment.
**The languages for which ISBE is attempting to have translations available for directions and glossaries include: Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Urdu, Korean, Philipino/Tagalog, Cantonese, Gujarati, Vietnamese and Russian.

Achievement Examination (PSAE) Accommodations
For Students who are Limited English Proficient (LEP)
AND
Have Been Eligible* for Language Support Services (Transitional Bilingual Education/Transitional Program of Instruction) for Up to 5 years

Timing/Scheduling

  • Extended time for Day 1 ACT tests
  • Standard time for Day 1 ACT multiple-choice tests -- extended time for Day 1 ACT writing test
  • Extended time for Day 2 tests
  • For both Day 1 and Day 2, standard time with stop-the-clock breaks or testing over multiple days

Presentation

  • For both Day 1 and Day 2, reader script (in English) for all tested subjects
  • For both Day 1 and Day 2, audiocassettes (in English) for all tested subjects
  • For both Day 1 and Day 2, audio DVDs (in English) for all tested subjects
  • For both Day 1 and Day 2, translated verbal test instructions written in native language read to the student**

Response

  • For Day 1 ACT writing test, dictated response (in English) transcribed to standard answer folder

Previous Correspondence:

  • In November 2007, ACT sent a letter to PSAE Test Accommodations Coordinators informing them about accommodation options for Day 1 and Day 2, including options for LEP students. http://www.isbe.net/assessment/pdfs/PSAE_TAC_Nov_Ltr.pdf
  • In November 2007, ACT sent a letter to principals of special schools that had declined an earlier invitation to be established as a PSAE test site for 2008.  The letter required them to revisit their decision given the Illinois State Board announcement that all grade 11 LEP students are required to take the PSAE this year.  http://www.isbe.net/assessment/pdfs/LEP_Ltr_Prin_Nov07.pdf

Key Dates:

  • November 1, 2007 – January 30, 2008

Schools established as PSAE test sites for 2008 order PSAE test materials on the Web at PSAE TestSites Online.

  • February 19 – 28, 2008

PSAE training workshops conducted for Test Supervisors, Back-up Test Supervisors, and Test Accommodations Coordinators from schools established as PSAE test sites for 2008.

  • March 7, 2008

Deadline for Test Accommodations Coordinators at schools established as PSAE test sites for 2008 to submit applications for Day 1 State-Allowed Accommodations for individual LEP students to ACT.

*Further explanation will be available on the Illinois State Board of Education Web site at http://www.isbe.net/assessment.

**The languages for which ISBE is attempting to have translations available for test instruction include: Spanish, Polish, Arabic, Urdu, Korean, Philipino/Tagalog, Cantonese, Gujarati, Vietnamese and Russian.

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Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777