Using Teacher Ratings to Evaluate the Validity of an Alternate Assessment for English Language Learners

2:15 - 3:45pm

Convention Center, Terrace III (400 Level)

Presented at: AERA 2014

Recent legislation promoting educational accountability for all U.S. students has motivated assessments for English Language Learners (ELLs) and special needs students. Public reporting of assessment data is not required for ELLs with disabilities, however, resulting in a dearth of research and assessment options for this population. The Alternate ACCESS English Language Proficiency Assessment (Alternate ACCESS) is the first large-scale assessment developed to test the English language proficiency of ELL students with severe cognitive disabilities. This paper investigates the validity of Alternate ACCESS by comparing teacher judgments of students’ English language abilities with student performances on the exam. Analyses indicate a positive relationship between student exam scores and teacher judgments, suggesting that both reflect the same construct of English proficiency.