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News and Events

Stay up-to-date on the latest news and events about CAL-WIDA collaborative activities. We occasionally post links to online news articles of interest. These links are provided for informational purposes only, and the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of WIDA or the Center for Applied Linguistics.

WIDA 2013 National Conference
Language Learner Success: Building on Strengths

October 17-19, 2013 ♦ Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WIDA's annual conference will provide PreK through grade 12 educators of language learners opportunities for professional development, idea sharing, relationship building, and strategic collaboration. The theme for the 2013 Conference is Language Learner Success: Building on Strengths. This directly ties into WIDA's CAN DO philosophy, which emphasizes the assets, contributions, and potential of linguistically diverse students. Topics are expected to encompass four broad areas: academic language and literacy; effective instructional practices; program management, and; national initiatives. CAL is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the WIDA 2013 Conference.

Learn more.

WIDA Forges Ahead With New English-Language Proficiency Test
March 19, 2013 EdWeek Lesli A. Maxwell

The 31 states that have banded together to create a new, computer-based assessment system for English-language learners are getting their first glimpses at the new English-language proficiency exam being developed to measure the language demands of the Common Core State Standards. Known as ASSETS—Assessment Services Supporting ELs through Technology Systems—the assessment system is being developed on behalf of member states by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium, or WIDA, based at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. (While there is considerable overlap between the states that make up ASSETS and those that are part of WIDA, they are two distinct groups.)

Read the EdWeek article.

Districts Climb to New Gains in WIDA's LADDER Program
February 2013

Catherine Fox, an English Language Learner (ELL) educator in the Rhode Island public school system, participated in a pilot program launched by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Project. The LADDER program, a 12- to 18-month professional development program, trains a school-based team of educators to engage in continual conversations centered on data. Once the team understands how to interpret the data, it then works to identify targeted areas of need and implement an ELL action plan.

Read more.

WIDA Consortium Announces New Technology-based Assessment System
April 11, 2012

A new technology-based assessment system for English language learners will measure student progress in attaining the academic English necessary to succeed in school and, ultimately, post-secondary studies and work. The assessment system, ASSETS, is informed by rigorous research and will be supported by comprehensive professional development and outreach. ASSETS is anchored in WIDA's English Language Proficiency Standards, which align with the Common Core State Standards. Slated for release in 2015-16, it will include a computer-based language proficiency test, screener, benchmark assessments, and formative resources.

Learn more about ASSETS.

WIDA: The Little Consortium That Grew
March 23, 2010 EdWeek Mary Ann Zehr

Read the EdWeek article outlining how the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment, or WIDA, consortium is taking a step to have more say over how materials for the classroom are designed to align with its English-proficiency standards.

Read the article.