U.S. Department of Education to Create Framework for English-Proficiency Tests

By Mary Ann Zehr — June 06, 2007 1 min read
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Through a notice in today’s Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Education is seeking recommendations on how to develop a framework states can use to evaluate the quality of their standards and tests for English-language proficiency. The deadline for submitting recommendations is Aug. 1.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, states were required to create standards for English-language development for students who were new to the language and to come up with assessments to gauge their progress in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. English-language learners in K-12 must be tested each year in their progress in English. Last summer, when I wrote about this topic, all but six states had implemented comprehensive English-language-proficiency tests. (Also, see my earlier post about how California has not yet created an English-language-proficiency test to assess reading and writing for English-language learners in kindergarten and 1st grade.)

The Education Department makes a point of saying it invites not only technical experts in standards, assessment, and language-development to provide recommendations, but also parents, teachers, administrators, researchers, and others.

If you’ve been muttering under your breath about the time it takes to administer these tests in your school or complaining about questions on your state’s English-proficiency test that you think aren’t relevant, here’s your chance to make your views heard.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.