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Comprehensive framework for K–12 assessment of English language learners

Frances S Mossberg, Johnson & Wales University


Mossberg, Frances S. Student assessment, often in the form of testing, has become widely recognized as one of the most critical educational issues in the United States. This study focuses on the assessment of English language learners (ELLs). An exploratory descriptive study was employed to find evidence for the existence of a comprehensive framework for the assessment of ELLs, and to identify the essential components of a theoretical framework for ELLs in grades K–12. The study used a triangulation approach to data collection. Data sources included (a) extant literature related to the topic, (b) interviews with nationally recognized experts in student assessment, and (c) interviews with assessment coordinators in urban public schools in a New England state. This approach provided the necessary corroboration to enhance reliability and validity. Data derived from all sources were examined to determine the fundamental components of a comprehensive assessment framework. Ten components were identified: (a) knowledge about assessment, (b) teaching and learning, (c) professional development, (d) accountability, (e) policies, (f) cultural competencies, (g) information systems/data, (h) planning, (i) organizational capacity, and (j) moral/ethical considerations. The research articulates a framework that can be used at local, state, and federal levels to ensure that assessment programs and practices expand educational opportunities for English language learners, and do not result in the discriminatory denial of educational opportunities or benefits to them.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Psychological tests|Law|Educational evaluation

Recommended Citation

Mossberg, Frances S, "Comprehensive framework for K–12 assessment of English language learners" (2002). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3042725.