WIDA ACCESS and ELLs

WIDA/ACCESS Testing Window
January 23, 2017 - March 17, 2017

ACCESS 2.0 Testing - Scheduling Considerations

As you prepare master schedules for ACCESS testing, make sure to keep in mind that the ACCESS 2.0 is a federally and state mandated assessment. Local schools must adhere closely to the guidelines for administration of such assessments. The administration of the ACCESS must be approached with the same care and diligence as all other state-mandated assessments.

The test may only be administered during the test window of January 23 - March 17, 2017. All ELLs who are enrolled during the test window MUST be administered the ACCESS. Participation on the ACCESS is an AYP accountability measure for the district.

Testing Environment

  • Schedule the listening, reading and writing sections of the test in a classroom with ideally, no more than 15 students.
  • Sequencing of test administration is REQUIRED, students must take the Listening and Reading tests first because their performance on those domains determines their placement on the remaining domains - Speaking and Writing. Students should take Listening first, followed by the Reading test, students may take Speaking and Writing in either order.
  • The classroom must be conducive to testing with only the student/s to be assessed and the examiner.
  • Ensure there will be limited interruptions within the school on the testing day/s. (Make sure to check that the fire drill is not scheduled for that day.)
  • Local school administration should monitor all group administration sessions.
  • Seating arrangements for group testing must ensure that each student has adequate workspace for their testing materials, with sufficient space between students to discourage copying and to permit them to handle the materials comfortably. Seating arrangements for the speaking assessment is outlined in the ACCESS Administrator's Guide.
  • Testing rooms should be well lit, have adequate ventilation, a comfortable temperature, and freedom from interruption. Place a "Testing --Please Be Quiet" sign on the testing room.

Test Examiners

  • All staff administering the ACCESS test must be certified and currently employed in HBGSD.
  • All staff administering Kindergarten ACCESS or the Alternate ACCESS must hold the ESL certification or ESL endorsement.
  • All staff administering the ACCESS must have completed the online training from the WIDA website, which includes the successful completion of the checklist and the online quizzes with 80% mastery. The training and the quizzes are required to be completed annually regardless of whether or not the staff member has completed the training in a previous school year. (Contact Kathy Ames to obtain the user name and password for the training.)
  • Test administrators must complete the Nondisclosure and Confidentiality forms. The Nondisclosure form is located in the ACCESS Administrator's Guide and the Confidentiality form is in the Test Coordinator's Packet. The local school test administrator must maintain the originals of these forms.

As you schedule testing administration plans, keep in mind the following information

** Listening section should be administered first, followed by reading, then speaking and writing in either order.   

  • Listening:  30-40 minutes
  • Reading: 25-35 minutes
  • Writing:  Up to 65 minutes
  • Speaking:  20-30 minutes

Accommodations and ACCESS

ACCOMMODATIONS

Assessment administration accommodations may not be provided unless the student qualifies for special education services and the accommodation is required for the student’s disability and not his/her limited English proficiency.  The student must have an IEP with the type of accommodations indicated. 

What is ACCESS?

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0®

ACCESS for ELLs® stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners. This large-scale test addresses the academic English language proficiency (ELP) standards at the core of the WIDA Consortium's approach to instructing and evaluating the progress of English learners. To alleviate any confusion, the WIDA Screener more aptly known as a screening tool, has a different purpose and format from the ACCESS test.

From the WIDA Consortium  This large-scale test first and foremost addresses the English language development standards that form the core of the WIDA Consortium's approach to instructing and testing English language learners. These standards incorporate a set of model performance indicators (PIs) that describe the expectations educators have of ELL students at five different grade level clusters and in five different content areas.
   
The grade level clusters include K, 1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8 and 9-12. There are five content areas of the standards. The first is called social and instructional language (SI), which incorporates proficiencies needed to deal with the general language of the classroom and the school. The others are English language arts (LA), math (MA), science (SC), and social studies (SS).
   
For each grade level, then, the standards specify one or more performance indicators for each content area within each of the four language domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.    

There are six different domain and levels included in the Wida framework.
Level 1 - Entering, Level 2- Emerging, Level 3- Developing, Level 4- Expanding, Level 5- Bridging, Level 6- Reaching.

These levels describe the spectrum of a learner's progression from knowing little to no English to acquiring the English skills necessary to be successful in an English-only classroom without extra support. This final, exit stage for EL status is designated Level 6 (former ELL). Within each combination of grade level, content area, and language domain, there is a PI at each of the five points on the proficiency ladder, and the sequence of these five PIs together describe a logical progression and accumulation of skills on the path to full proficiency.
   
Drawn from the PIs, the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® incorporates all five standards and English language proficiency levels in sections that correspond to the four domains. The target administration times for each section of the test are:

  1. Listening:  30-40 minutes
  2. Reading: 25-35 minutes
  3. Writing:  Up to 65 minutes
  4. Speaking:  20-30 minutes
 
Selecting Tier Levels for ACCESS

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® uses Tiers (A, B, or C) to maximize accuracy and validity of test results. This allows students to avoid responding to questions that are inappropriately difficult or easy.

Give careful consideration to Tier placement. For placement into the appropriate Tier, English learners must meet at least ONE of the criteria listed for the Tier.

Tier A

  • EL who has entered the U.S. this academic year without previous instruction in English
  • EL who recently tested on the Wida Screener and scored below a 2.0.

Tier B

  • EL who has social language proficiency and some, but not extensive academic language proficiency.
  • EL who has acquired some literacy in English but has not reached grade level literacy.

Tier C

  • EL who has almost reached grade level literacy and academic language proficiency in core content areas.
  • EL who will most likely meet the exit criteria for ESL support services by the end of the academic year.
ACCESS 2.0 - Interpretation of Scores

Background:

The ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment is a secure, large scale test anchored in the WIDA English proficiency standards. In Pennsylvania, the ACCESS is the federally-mandated, annual English proficiency assessment. The ACCESS is divided into six, grade-level clusters: K, 1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12 and three tiers: Tier A (beginning), Tier B (intermediate), Tier C (advanced).

The information below has been adapted from the WIDA Consortium's 2017 ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 Interpretive Guide.
 
ACCESS Scores (Grades 1 - 12):

ACCESS for ELLs Scores (Grades 1–12)
An individual student’s results on the ACCESS for ELLs are reported in three ways: raw scores, scale scores, and English language proficiency (ELP) levels. Raw scores are converted to corresponding ACCESS for ELLs scale scores, which are interpreted and reported as language proficiency levels.
Raw scores are reported for Comprehension, Speaking, and Writing. Scale scores and proficiency levels are reported for the four language domains (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) and four different combinations of language domains. These combinations include: Oral Language (Listening and Speaking), Literacy (Reading and Writing), Comprehension (Listening and Reading), and Overall or Composite Score (a combination of all four language domains).

Note: According to WIDA, raw scores should NEVER be used to track student's progress over time; however, scale scores can be used to monitor progress over time within a language domain, but not across domains.

Proficiency Level Scores
The proficiency level scores are interpretive scores. That is, they provide stakeholders with an interpretation of the scale scores. They help stakeholders understand what the numeric score means in terms of the language skills of the student. They describe student performance in terms of the six WIDA English language proficiency levels: 1– Entering, 2–Emerging, 3–Developing, 4–Expanding, 5–Bridging, 6–Reaching. Proficiency level scores are presented as whole numbers followed by a decimal. The whole number indicates the student’s language proficiency level based on the WIDA ELD Standards. The decimal indicates the proportion within the proficiency level range that the student’s scale score represents, rounded to the nearest tenth. The interpretation of scale scores to proficiency level scores is grade specific, not grade-level cluster specific. For example, a Reading scale score of 355 for a fifth grade student is interpreted as Level 4.0. The same scale score for a fourth grader results in Level 4.6, and for a third grade student that scale score results in Level 5.2. Each domain reports a separate score; therefore, the same scale score in Listening and Reading does not become the same proficiency level score. For example, consider a sixth grade student in grade-level cluster 6–8. She has a scale score of 370 for Listening and therefore has a proficiency level score of 4.3, while she has a scale score of 370 for Reading and therefore has a proficiency level score of 3.8.
 
Composite Scores
Students receive four different composite scores derived from a combination of weighted language domain scores. The four composite scores are Oral Language, Literacy, Comprehension, and Overall score. Composite scores are compensatory. Compensatory means that a high score in one language domain could inflate the composite score, compensating for a low score in another language domain; conversely, a low score in a language domain could bring down the composite. Composite scores are reported as both scale scores and as proficiency levels.

ACCESS Scores (Kindergarten):

Most of the information about ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 applies to all students in Grades K–12. However, the Kindergarten test is distinct from Grades 1–12 in several ways.

• The ACCESS for ELLs Kindergarten assessment remains a paper-based, face-to-face test.
• The Kindergarten test form is individually administered and adaptive.
• In the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards (2007), a set of model performance indicators (MPIs) specific to Kindergarten were created. These standards were used to develop the current Kindergarten ACCESS test.
• Additional features embedded in the test design make it developmentally appropriate for this age group.
• Reading and Writing items allow students to demonstrate preliteracy skills that many Kindergarteners are still in the process of acquiring.
• Rather than including a wide variety of themes and topics as the different domains are assessed, tasks for all four domains were developed around just two unifying themes, a narrative text and an expository text. This minimizes the number of cognitive leaps a student has to make within each test domain. 13
• Many items involve the use of manipulative cards to engage the students in familiar types of activities.
• All of these characteristics were designed to help create a developmentally appropriate instrument.

 
Cover letters to accompany the Parent ACCESS Reports are located on the https://www.wida.us/