How students score in reading and writing on an English-language-proficiency test is a good indicator of how they will score on the reading, writing, and mathematics tests that their states give to all students.
That’s what a study of 5th and 8th graders who took the English-proficiency test developed by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment consortium, or WIDA, concluded. Researchers for the study, which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, found that students’ reading and writing scores on the test were stronger predictors of how they did on regular academic tests than were their scores in the speaking and listening portions.
The 5th and 8th graders in the study were from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, which are all members of WIDA and thus use the access for ELLs English-proficiency test. Students in those states also take the same academic-content tests, called the New England Common Assessment Program.
A version of this article appeared in the March 11, 2009 edition of Education Week