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SAT-9, as are recently arrived immigrants who are level 2 (beginner). Those in the middle levels of proficiency, level 2 (beginner) and level 3 (intermediate), who are instructed in bilingual programs, are administered Aprenda in reading and mathematics, and a translated SAT-9 open-ended test in science. Those in levels 2 and 3 who are not in bilingual programs take the SAT-9 with accommodations. Those at level 4 (advanced) take the SAT-9 with appropriate accommodations.
Accommodations include extra time; multiple shortened test periods; simplification of directions; reading aloud of questions (for mathematics and science); translation of words and phrases on the spot (for mathematics and science); decoding of words upon request (not for reading); use of gestures and nonverbal expressions to clarify directions and prompts; student use of graphic organizers and artwork; testing in a separate room or small-group setting; use of a study carrel; and use of a word-match glossary.
All students who take part in the assessment are included in school accountability reports. Those who are not tested receive a score of zero.
For schools eligible for Title I schoolwide status (those with high proportions of low-income students), the district is pilot-testing a performance assessment in reading and mathematics. The performance assessment may become part of the district's accountability system. Students at all levels of English proficiency participate in the performance assessment, with accommodations (National Research Council, 1999a).
Reporting Assessment Results
In many ways, reporting the results of tests is one of the most significant aspects of testing and assessment. Test construction, item development, and scoring are means of gathering information. It is the information, and the inferences drawn from the information, that makes a difference in the lives of students, parents, teachers, and administrators.
The traditional method of reporting test results is in reference to norms; that is, by comparing student performance to the performance of a national sample of students, called a norm group, who took the same test. Norm-referenced test scores help provide a context for the results by showing parents, teachers, and the public whether student performance is better or worse than that of others. This type of reporting may be useful for making selection decisions.
Norm-referenced reporting is less useful for providing information about what students know or are able to do. To cite a commonly used analogy, norm-referenced scores tell you who is farther up the mountain; they do not tell you how far anyone has climbed. For that type of information, criterion-referenced, or standards-referenced, reports are needed. These types of reports compare