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Assessment

English Language Proficiency Assessment

Annual State English Language Proficiency Assessment: PDE is a member of the multi-state World Class Instruction Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium. The WIDA Consortium developed an assessment entitled Assessing Communication and Comprehension in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs). The Pennsylvania Department of Education uses the ACCESS for ELLs as the required instrument for the annual assessment of English language proficiency. Access for ELLs is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English language learners' proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies within the school context across the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing. For more information on ordering and administering the ACCESS for ELLs assessment, please see the resource documents in the yellow box.

ACCESS for ELLs Test Security Procedures: The security of state administered assessments is of the utmost importance in regard to the PDE assessment and accountability system. The Bureau of Assessment and Accountability has outlined the state's expectations and procedures on test booklet security, test administration security, and the identification and reporting of test security violations.  Breaches in test security must be quickly identified and reported to PDE. 

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs: The Alternate ACCESS for ELLs is an assessment of English language proficiency (ELP) for students in grades 1-12 who are classified as English language learners (ELLs) and have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent their meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs® assessment.

Academic Assessments

ELLs also participate in academic assessments with allowed accommodations. For current guidance on testing requirements and allowed accommodations for ELLs, please reference the current PSSA and Keystone Accommodation Guidelines at the PSSA Resources section of PDE's website.

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) includes assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics which are taken by students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Students in grades 4 and 8 are administered the Science PSSA.

The Keystone Exams are end-of-course assessments designed to assess proficiency in various subjects. The Keystone Exams are one component of Pennsylvania's proposed system of high school graduation requirements.

Project Based Assessments are alternative assessments for Students who are unable to meet Chapter 4 requirements relating to high school graduation requirements through the Keystone Exam may qualify to complete a project based assessment.

State Testing Dates 2017-2019

Testing Specifics

Start Date

End Date

DRC Provides 2016-2017 Site Data to SEA

Fri 8/11/17

Fri 8/11/17

SEA Provides 2017-2018 Site Changes to DRC

Mon 8/14/17

Fri 9/22/17

Test Materials Ordering Available in AMS (LEAs)

Thu 11/2/17

Fri 12/1/17

SEA Loads Pre-ID File into AMS

Thu 11/30/17

Thu 11/30/17

WIDA AMS Test Setup Available for Test Sessions

Tue 12/26/17

Fri 3/2/18

Districts Receive Test Materials (On)

Tue 1/9/18

Tue 1/9/18

Test Window

Mon 1/22/18

Fri 2/23/18

Cut Off date for Testing ELs Who Enroll During the Testing Window*

2/9/17

2/9/17

Additional Test Material Ordering Window in AMS

Tue 1/9/18

Fri 2/9/18

Deadline for Shipping Completed Test Materials to DRC

Fri 3/16/18

Fri 3/16/18

Pre-Reporting Data Validation – LEAs in AMS

Thu 4/26/18

Thu 5/3/18

Pre-Reporting Data Validation - Data Files to SEA

Tue 5/15/18

Tue 5/15/18

Pre-Reporting Data Validation - Data Files From SEA

Tue 5/22/18

Tue 5/22/18

Districts Receive Reports - Printed and Online (On)

Tue 6/19/18

Tue 6/19/18

Final Data Available to State

Tue 6/19/18

Tue 6/19/18

*The district is not required to administer the ACCESS for students who enroll after the 9th of February.