One of the biggest challenges for students in adjusting to computer-based assessment that we cannot overlook is the “digital divide” that exists between students from low-income homes (currently two-thirds of ELLs nationwide¹) and students whose families can afford access to technology in the home. These divides also tend to exist in terms of students’ more limited access to technology in schools which serve low-income neighborhoods.
This blog post focuses on a different angle of the assessment debate, which does not directly involve the content of ELL tests but rather considerations that are important for schools and districts to address in planning their assessments. It first examines various initiatives taking place across the nation in terms of CCSS assessments for all students and takes a peek at field test results for ELLs. It then provides an overview of accommodations on CCSS content assessments and of English language proficiency assessments for ELLs. Next, the post explores which aspects of computer-based assessment might prove to be especially challenging for ELLs and ends with some resources to support ELLs’ success in computer-based testing.