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  About IVARED    

English Language Learners (ELLs) with disability are a growing portion of the K-12 school population in nearly every state (National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, n.d.) and their state-level content assessments results are among the lowest achieving students (Liu, Barrera, Thurlow, Guven, & Shyyan, 2005). This poor outcome might be due to many reasons. First, ELLs with disabilities may not have the additional instructional support despite the fact that they are taught the same challenging content standards as their fluent English speaking peers (Shyyan, Thurlow, & Liu, 2008).

Second, the statewide accountability test might not be appropriate for them (Albus & Thurlow, 2007; Altman, Lazarus, Thurlow, Quenemoen, Cuthbert, & Cormier, 2008). However, there is limited effort in developing procedure to improve the validity of assessment results for ELLs with disabilities. In response to this challenge, five states (Minnesota as lead, Arizona, Maine, Michigan, and Washington) work together to address the assessment challenges for ELLs with disabilities and seeks to improve the validity for results from large-scale content assessments that aim to include the full range of learners. The IVARED project (Improving the Validity of Assessment Results for English Language Learners with Disabilities) funded by Department of Education is an official response to this challenge.

The IVARED project seeks to achieve the following objectives: Identify and describe each state’s population of ELLs with disabilities and relate to assessment performance (Activity 1) Describe inclusion of ELLs with disabilities in state assessment participation and accommodations policies (Activity 2) Identify promising practices for participation, accommodation, and test score interpretation decisions (Activity 3 and Activity 4) Strengthen the knowledge base of assessment decision makers to improve decisions (Activity 5).


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  National Center on Educational Outcomes | 207 Pattee Hall 150 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 | email: ivared@umn.edu | 612-626-1530