California education officials have dropped out of a group of a dozen states that had organized around the need to develop a new English-language-proficiency assessment that will measure the language demands of the Common Core State Standards.
The state had planned to be part of ELPA 21—or the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century consortium—which is led by Oregon and funded by a $6.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. California’s inclusion in the consortium was significant because the state’s public schools educate 1.4 million English-language learners, more than any other state.
State education officials said they did not want to halt the momentum they have created by recently adopting their own English-language-development standards. One condition in the ELPA 21 agreement was that all member states would have to adopt the same English-language-development standards by next fall.
Tennessee has also declined to sign the agreement for undisclosed reasons. Other states in the group include Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia. Oregon’s key nonstate partners in the project are Stanford University and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
A version of this article appeared in the February 20, 2013 edition of Education Week as California Drops Out of ELL Test Consortium