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Strengthening Assessment for English Learner Success: How Can the Promise of the Common Core Standards and Innovative Assessment Systems Be Realized?

Abstract

"Acknowledging and overcoming the challenges involved in fairly and accurately assessing ELs is integral and not peripheral to the task of developing an assessment system that serves all students well. This is clearly true in states where linguistic-minority students constitute a major presence in public schools, including California, but it is equally true in states across the country. The academic language demands inherent in the CCSS will challenge many students, not just non-native English speakers. Insights gained in developing and implementing comprehensive assessment systems that are responsive to ELs will benefit all students and teachers. Treating the assessment of ELs as a separate problem-or, worse yet, as one that can be left for later-calls into question the basic legitimacy of assessment systems that drive high stakes decisions about students, teachers, and schools. These issues should be at the center and not on the margins of debate about assessment policy."

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