Alternate ACCESS for English Language Learners
Home > News




March/April 2011 Update

From March 2nd through March 4th, representatives from 19 WIDA states congregated in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ broad scale alignment study. The focus of this meeting was to evaluate test item and AMPI alignment. Special thanks to the consultants and professionals that assisted with this important part of the project.

March 31st marked the last day of the EAG (Enhanced Assessment Grant). Thus, in April, the project moved into the final stages of development, with project staff focusing on concluding tasks up until May 31st (when necessary documents will be submitted for federal approval).


January 2011 Update

The project manager and the five project assistants traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to conduct field testing over a span of two weeks. Many thanks go out to all the teachers, administrators, and students in The School District of Philadelphia who were extremely accommodating and provided us with many valuable field testing opportunities.


December 2010 Update

On December 6th and 7th , the project team and WIDA hosted an accommodations meeting. This meeting addressed the rationale for alternate English language proficiency (ELP) assessment and gave an overview of the evidence-collection and performance-based approaches to assessments. Furthermore, the accommodation meeting reviewed results from the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ pilot test, previewed the field testing process, and discussed professional development protocols.


November 2010 Update

In November, the project team began the dissemination of field test materials. The field testing period continued through March. Testing materials (test booklets, test administrator manuals, surveys and feedback forms) were sent to schools in WIDA states across the nation, including Georgia, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Upon return of the materials, the team organized and entered test response data for further analysis.


October 2010 Update

We have complied a list of Frequently Asked Questions for the Fall 2010 Field Test.

An article featuring the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ was published in the Fall 2010 issue of AccELLerate!  "Assessing the ELP Growth of ELs with Significant Disabilities" was written by Craig Albers, Jessica Wohlferd, and Melanie Fuhrmann. 


May 2010 Update

At the WIDA Executive Member meeting in May, the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ project team distributed a project newsletter.  The newsletter marked the completion of the pilot test and provided other project updates. 


April 2010 Update

At this time, pilot testing is currently ongoing. The project team anticipates receipt of all testing materials by the end of April, at which time, data analysis will take place, scoring criteria will be established and feedback will be accounted for.


March 2010 Update

Jessica Wohlferd traveled to Clifton, NJ to observe pilot testing and receive feedback from volunteer test administrators from all grade levels within Clifton Public Schools.


January 2010 Update

From September through January, development of pilot test items was the primary focus of the project team. Materials such as test booklets, test administrator manuals, surveys and feedback forms were created, edited and sent to print.


August 2009 Update

The project team hosted a final Item Development Educator Workshop in Madison. Over 335 draft items resulted from the work completed by the contributing educators and administrators in attendance.


July 2009 Update

Dr. Craig Albers and Jessica Wohlferd traveled to Richmond, VA to continue item development work with area educators and administrators with assistant from Robert Fugate from the Virginia Department of Education. Much progress was made refining the Alternate model performance indicators and beginning the writing of draft items.


April 2009 Update

The project team hosted an Educator Workshop in Madison in which the goal was to assist in the alignment of the alternate model performance indicators (AMPIs) and to continue revision of evidence collection-based and performance-based assessment items and activities.

Between Feburary and June, the project team worked on completing the alignment of the AMPIs with the most recent WIDA ELP Standards as well as creating an Alternate ACCESS CAN DO Descriptors document.


February 2009 Update

We are pleased to announce receipt of one of the five awarded Enhanced Assessment Grants (EAGs) of 2008 for the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs™ project. The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education is the lead SEA on the project and Dr. Craig Albers is the Project Director and Primary Investigator. The EAG affords the project team an opportunity to increase the scope of the assessment including continued development of the evidence-based collection approach and the development of a performance-based approach, giving SEA personnel an option of choosing the approach that is more compatible with their current alternate academic achievement assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

The current project staff includes Dr. Craig Albers, Jessica Wohlferd, and five graduate student and doctoral candidate Program Assistants.

In February, the project team held an Educator Workshop in Madison to assist in the alignment of the alternate model performance indicators (AMPIs) and continued revision of collection-based and performance-based assessment items and activities.