Publications & Resources

Research-Supported Accommodation for English Language Learners in NAEP

Jan 2003

Jamal Abedi, Mary Courtney and Seth Leon

With recent legislation calling for equal learning opportunity for all children—including English language learners (ELLs)—the issue of assessment and accommodation for ELLs is gaining more attention. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (2002) asks for fair assessment for all children, including ELL students, and encourages experimentally controlled research to examine issues related to assessment and accommodation for ELL students. Considering the fast-growing nature of the ELL population, this study aims to address several important issues concerning the use of accommodation in NAEP. First, it is important to identify those accommodations that help ELL students perform better by reducing the language barriers in content-area assessments (i.e., accommodations that are effective). A second major task is to make sure that accommodations that are effective in increasing the performance of ELL students do not give them an unfair advantage over non-ELL students not receiving the accommodations (i.e., the accommodations should be valid). We test this by examining whether the accommodations seem to have a positive effect on the performance of non-ELL students. The task of finding effective and valid accommodations is complete with the testing of accommodation feasibility. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to identify accommodations that are effective, valid, and logistically feasible to implement.

Abedi, J., Courtney, M., & Leon, S. (2003). Research-supported accommodation for English language learners in NAEP (CSE Report 586). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).