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Intercon. between Constructs & Consequences: A Key Validity Iss. in K12 Eng. Lang. Proficiency Asses
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Abstract

In U.S. K-12 public school settings, states’ English language proficiency (ELP) assessments, as part of accountability assessments, impact on English learner (EL) students’ academic paths and success. Appropriate assessments provide useful information to guide the types of services that individual students may need. On the other hand, faulty EL exit decisions resulting from inadequate ELP assessment results could lead to unequal opportunities to learn. Hence, it is critical to establish a robust validation framework and empirical evidence to ensure that ELP assessments are appropriately interpreted and used. In this presentation, I highlight two key, interrelated areas of validity concern: the construct and the consequences. I discuss how the ELP construct has been redefined and operationalized in recent K–12 ELP standards and assessments and the ramifications these new ELP assessments have for making high-stakes decisions about ELs. I propose a set of pivotal research areas pertaining to construct and consequential validity, which have important implications for practice and policies to support EL students’ needs.

Summary

The presenter discusses how the English language proficiency (ELP) construct has been redefined and operationalized in recent standards and assessments in U.S. K-12 public schools. The presenter highlights the ramifications these new ELP assessments have for English learners’ academic experiences as well as for critical research areas concerning ELP assessments.

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