Some teachers of ELLs have begun to read about the technology-based tests (diagnostic, placement, achievement) that will be funded by the federal government by the end of August 2011. But something they might not know is that at the same time, plans are being made to include ELLs with disabilities in the group of students that would be required to take language proficiency tests on a computer.
Just in case you haven't seen it, here is a blog post out of Ed Week discussing the technology -based assessments for ELs that the two consortia are putting out. The post is actually about a meeting organized by the US Dept of Ed Office of Language Acquisition, where accommodations for ELLs with disabilities were discussed with consortia representatives. Please read the comments. They are great. For example, Lynn Shafer Wilner attended the meeting and commented on this post. She also shared a great resource:
NCEO - Don't Forget Accommodations!: Five Questions To Ask When Moving to Technology-based Assessments located at http://www.cehd.umn.edu/nceo/OnlinePubs/briefs/brief01/default.htm:
1. Do technology-based assessments mean that students will no longer need accommodations?
2. What is the difference between accommodations, embedded features, and good testing practices?
3. Who makes decisions about what is used during technology-based assessments, and when are these decisions made?
4. What training is needed for teachers and students?
5. What should be tracked and documented within the technology-based platform?