Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What You Need to Know about 2017 ACCESS Scores

In 2016, WIDA introduced its revised assessment of English language proficiency, or ACCESS for ELLs 2.0.  Compared with previous standards and assessments, ACCESS 2.0 requires students to demonstrate a higher level of achievement of English proficiency.  The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has advised districts and schools to "base instructional and reclassification decisions for the 2017-18 school year on ACCESS 2.0 results that are equivalent to the previous ACCESS 1.0 results."  The Department has provided a crosswalk of scores (see below) and districts and schools can also use the WIDA Score Lookup Calculator to convert ACCESS 2.0 scores to previous ACCESS 1.0 results.

Here's what districts and schools need to know about the 2017 ACCESS results:
  • ACCESS 2.0 assessment is more closely aligned with current WIDA standards and 2017 scores will more accurately reflect the language skills an ELL student will need in order to be successful after they exit English language support programs
  • Students need to attain a 4.2 overall, and a 3.9 Composite Literacy score to exit ELL status
  • Some students' ACCESS scores may go down in 2017, and fewer students overall may qualify to exit their status as "ELL".  However, despite the decrease in scores, students may have still made progress in learning English since last year.  Progress indicators will be made available later in the summer 2017.  You can expect that students in upper grades and at higher English proficiency levels will be most affected by the score changes.
  • WIDA has developed parent handouts on these score changes available here.
  • Handouts and videos on sharing this information with teachers are available here.
  • You may use either the Department's "Concordance Table<>" or the WIDA Score Lookup Calculator <> to determine what last year's scores would have been with the new score scale applied. Educators can then compare scores from 2016 to 2017 on the same scale and determine where students made progress.

Additional information can be found:

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