Frequently Asked Questions for the
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs Fall 2010 Field Test
1. Will the students who participate in the field test of the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs be excused from
taking the ACCESS for ELLs in spring or fall (depending upon each state’s elected administration
Unfortunately, no. The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is still an assessment measure in development and has not
yet been federally approved; therefore it cannot take the place of the NCLB required ELP assessment fulfilled
by administration of the ACCESS for ELLs. Participation in the field test is strictly voluntary. Once the data
from the field test is received and analyzed, the assessment will receive final revisions and undergo final
approvals for annual implementation by the WIDA® Consortium. Ideally the full-scale rollout of the approved
Alternate ACCESS for ELLs will take place in the 2011-2012 school year.
2. When is the field testing to take place?
The project team is receiving information from states, districts and schools daily. We have a target number of
students in each grade cluster that we would like to assess with the field test. The larger the number of students,
the shorter the testing period can be, which would mean less of a time commitment for test administrators. As
soon as the received numbers are close enough to the goal, the team will move forward with dissemination of
testing documents and materials. The testing window that the project team has in mind is as follows:
Oct – early Nov 2010: shipping of disseminated testing materials
Nov – early Dec 2010: completion of field testing at volunteer sites and shipping materials back to
project staff at UW-Madison
Dec: evaluation and analysis of returned testing materials for final project documentation and turn-over
to WIDA staff
3. What information do I need to provide the project team?
To prepare for the field test, no student names are required, just basic student data: (a) name of the district, (b)
name of the school, (c) number of students to be tested, (d) grade level of the student(s), (e) L1 of each student
(this is very important as it determines the language of the consent documents we will provide you), and (f)
contact name with the email address of the person who would be administering the test items. This information
can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Will parent consent be required?
Yes. Once all information from item 3 is received, parent information and consent documents will be provided
in the home language (if possible). However, if you are aware that the parents can be provided consent
documents in English, or services are present that assist the parents with understanding the documents in
English, that information is helpful. It will definitely speed up the process of getting you the necessary
5. What if I administered the pilot test to this student already?
If you have already administered the measure to a student during the Spring 2010 Pilot Test, that student is still
eligible to participate in the Fall 2010 Field Test. We will let you know if a new parental permission form will
be required, as this will depend on the final revisions to the measure that might be made, additional information
requests regarding background characteristics, etc. Ideally, obtaining parental permission a second time will not
be necessary, but that is yet to be determined.
6. How long will it take me to administer the test to each student?
The time will vary. The average amount of time that test administrators reported spending on each subsection of
the test was between 10 and 30 minutes. The total time commitment per student is approximately 90 minutes,
including actual administration with the student and the time to complete the data collection documentation
which accompanies the materials. Actual time commitment will vary, depending upon each student’s ELP level
and specific disability.
7. Are there specific disabilities that are the target for the assessment?
The assessment is being developed with students with significant cognitive disabilities in mind. This is a wide
range of possible classifications including, but not limited to: autism, Asperger’s, cognitively disabled/mentally
retarded, and multiple disabilities. A student who does not have a documented disability or is without an IEP,
but has previously had trouble completing all four domains (listening, speaking, reading, writing) of the
ACCESS due to their disability, is a candidate for the pilot test. Any specific questions regarding a student’s
situation can be directed to project personnel.
8. Will I receive training on how to administer the test?
There is no formal training required. Administration is very similar to the regular ACCESS assessment.
Teachers familiar with administering the ACCESS should have no problem. If a teacher is not familiar with the
ACCESS, an extensive Test Administrator's Manual is included in the mailed materials. Also, project staff is
available to answer questions that may arise.
9. Is everyone in my state administering the assessment?
No. As stated previously, this field test is strictly voluntary. Also, the population of ELLs with significant
disabilities is not so large that every school would need to participate. There may be other educators and/or
administrators in your state that are involved. We can provide that information after all materials have been
10. What is expected of the student participant?
Each student who participates will be administered a series of performance based items, similar to those used in
the ACCESS for ELLs. This test is administered on a one-to-one basis, meaning each child is tested
individually. There are prompts and questions in all five standard areas (Social and Instructional Language,
Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies) that include all four language domains (listening,
speaking, reading and writing). The activities have been modified and adjusted to accommodate for students
with cognitive impairments.
11. Will I receive my student’s score after the tests have been evaluated and analyzed?
Formal score reports cannot be provide based on pilot and/or field test participation, primarily because we are
still determining whether this is a valid and reliable measure. However, we would be willing to work with you
to determine what information from the measure might be beneficial to you in determining instructional
implications, etc. If you have questions that are not addressed in this document, please email Alternate
ACCESS for ELLs project manager Jessica Wohlferd at email@example.com.
Thanks very much! We look forward to working with you!