Core Talk: A Little ELPA from our friends (in Oregon) at NCSA

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(Panel of ELPA21 Leaders at NCSA)


Greetings from stormin’ New Orleans, Standards Enthusiasts!

The Core Talk Team is excited to report to you from the 2014 National Conference on Student Assessment (NCSA) put on by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) here in New Orleans, Louisiana (where the formidable thunder and lightening storms have combined with local jazz bands for quite the serenade).

This is certainly a big year in the world of large-scale assessment with Common Core assessment timelines proceeding quickly.  Accommodation and assessment for students requiring special support has certainly been a hot topic, which is why we found the session hosted by the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century or “ELPA21″ so fascinating!  ELPA21 is a consortium of 11 states (much like Smarter Balanced or PARCC) developing standards and assessment for English Language Learners (ELLs), and the Oregon Department of Education (Core Talk’s geographical “home base” state) just so happens to be the ELPA21 lead state agency.

At the session, representatives from ELPA21, their partners from Stanford University/CCSSO, and the Oregon DOE shared some insight into their English Language Proficiency Standards (ELP Standards).  Developed with WestEd, these standards use proficiency-level descriptors to benchmark progression through K-12 English language acquisition  in the college-and-career-readiness classroom.  Perhaps the most show-stopping tidbit about these standards is:

They align to both the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards!

For teachers of ELLs who struggle to crosswalk or modify their language standards to correspond to these newer sets of college-and-career-readiness standards, these ELP Standards were clearly a welcome addition to the ELL resource arsenal.  ELPA21′s accompanying assessment is currently in development.  Professional Development for these standards and upcoming pilot testing is underway throughout Oregon school districts.  Come October 2014, this PD will open-up to the entire country in the form of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Presenters informed our group that the MOOCs are available to anyone, though participating states (especially in Oregon) will have more on-site support as they engage in the MOOC curricula.  We can’t wait to hear more from the folks at ELPA21 as assessment development continues, and until then…

…stay classy, Standards Enthusiasts!


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