Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

ETS Gathers Experts to Discuss Standards and Assessments For English Learners

June 27, 2012

PRINCETON, N.J., June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Prominent English-language proficiency scholars from across the country gathered yesterday at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) national conference to explore next-generation standards and assessments for English Learners (ELs).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120110/DC33419LOGO)

The pre-conference meeting, sponsored by Educational Testing Service (ETS), brought together prominent scholars who have been working on the development of new frameworks to link English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards and academic content standards.

Presenters included former ETS trustee Kenji Hakuta, Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford, who spoke about the challenges and opportunities for improving content and language instruction for ELs and discussed the work of Stanford University’s Understanding Language initiative.

Current ETS Trustee, Guadalupe Valdes, Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education at Stanford, presented CCSSO’s newly developed framework for aligning English-Language Development Standards to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. The underlying premise, analytical tasks, and language practices embedded and identified in the framework were discussed.

“ETS is committed to utilizing its resources and experience to develop next-generation measures for ELs,” said George Powell, Vice President, Teacher Licensure & Certification Programs and leader of ETS’s new K-12 English Learner initiative. “This is a unique time to rethink the approach used in assessing English proficiency.”

“The information shared today is most valuable in the development of new English Proficiency Assessments,” said Meredith Christiansen, Executive Director of the K-12 EL initiative. “English learners are the fastest growing student group in the country and there continues to be a need to gather meaningful data on student knowledge and on their command of English.”

Edynn Sato, Associate Director of WestEd’s Assessment and Standards Development Services Program, H. Gary Cook, Research Director, Wisconsin Center for Education Research and ETS Research Scientist Mikyung Kim Wolf also presented their work on identifying language demands in content standards and the application of the Common Core State Standards for English Learners.

Session topics included:

  • English Learner Access to the New Standards: Challenges and Opportunities for Educational Leadership
  • Framework for Aligning English Language Development Standards to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Language for Achievement and Implications for Instructing and Assessing the Language of Academic Content
  • Applying the Common Core State Standards for English Learners: A Comparison Study of Standards

In addition to representatives of ETS, other experts included:

Nancy Rowch – Director, Title III (English Language Acquisition) Office, Nebraska Department of Education

Jan Lanier – Title III Consultant/ESL Coordinator, Tennessee Department of Education

Lily Roberts – Educational Research and Evaluation Administrator, California Department of Education

Martha Castellon – Executive Director, Understanding Language, Stanford University

Tina Cheuk – Project Manager, Understanding Language, Stanford University

About ETS
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series(TM) assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

SOURCE Educational Testing Service

Source: PR Newswire