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Free Webinar March 17 on Including ELLs in State Tests

A specialist in assessments of English-language learners will impart her wisdom on the subject this Wednesday, March 17, in a free Webinar, hosted by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. The Webinar will run from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time.

Rebecca Kopriva, a senior scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will talk about how best to include English-language learners in regular state content tests. She'll touch on computer-based assessments and portfolio tests.

I'm familiar with Kopriva's work with Obtaining Necessary Parity Through Academic Rigor, or ONPAR, a project to develop test items in math and science that are appropriate for ELLs. The effort is funded by the U.S. Department of Education (see the second article, written by Kopriva, in the fall newsletter of the clearinghouse here). The World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment consortium has also posted a description of the project. ONPAR now has its own Web site as well.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently called the issue of how best to test ELLs one of the most challenging matters that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act will need to address.

Kathia Flemens of the clearinghouse is also joining the Webinar as a presenter. Register for it here.

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