Florida and Idaho have officially joined WIDA, a group of states that share common-core aligned English-language proficiency standards and assessments for English-language learners.
Florida adopted the standards from WIDA, or World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment, last summer after spending more than two years selecting new English-language-proficiency standards.
WIDA won a $10 million federal grant in 2011 to design a new English-language-development test that is linked to the common standards. That effort is known as ASSETS, Assessment Services Supporting ELs through Technology Systems. Idaho participated in the ASSETS grant before officially joining WIDA.
With the two additions, WIDA membership is now at 36 states.
Florida has roughly a quarter million K-12 ELL students while Idaho has close to 17,000, federal data shows.
“We look forward to a long partnership with both states in the mission of helping culturally and linguistically diverse students build academic English language skills,” WIDA Executive Director Tim Boals said in a statement.
Florida is among the states that has parted ways with ELPA 21, another group of states that have also jointly developed English-language proficiency standards that are aligned to the common-core standards. ELPA 21, short for English Language Proficiency Assessments for the 21st Century, landed a federal grant in 2012 to develop English-language proficiency tests.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.