This study investigated the inclusion of English language learners (ELLs) in state standards and assessments, as measured by comments made by peer reviewers in the federal evaluation of states' standards and assessments. As required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized in 2004 as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), states are required to develop challenging content standards in English language arts and mathematics, and to assess students on these standards. Nationwide, English language learners have been performing below proficient on these state tests. The goal of this study was to determine the elements of the standards and assessment system that peer reviewers thought could be addressed in order to improve the accessibility of these assessments for ELLs.This dissertation employed two research methods: a frequency and distribution analysis of the peer comments relevant to ELLs across the seven Critical Elements of the peer review, and a thematic analysis of the comments, using inductive methods to establish themes.
The study found that comments relevant to assessing English language learners were present in all seven critical areas and in all states. All states had two or more critical elements with comments relevant to ELLs. Key themes from the qualitative analysis included accommodations, diverse stakeholders, reporting accuracy, inclusion, reporting for parents, migrant students, comparability of test forms, bias review, DIF analysis, and standards. States have begun to address the inclusion of ELLs in statewide standards and assessments; however, state agency personnel have more work to do in these areas before assessments can be seen to be fully accessible to ELLs.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2010. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: R. Michael Paige, Ph.D., 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 157 pages, appendices A-C. Ill. (some col.)
Christensen, Laurene L..
Addressing the inclusion of English language learners the educational accountability system:lessons learned from peer review..
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