Understanding the Individual Student Report for the North Carolina IDEA English Language Proficiency Tests (IPT) Kindergarten (Grade K)

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1 Understanding the Individual Student Report for the North Carolina IDEA English Language Proficiency Tests (IPT) Kindergarten (Grade K) The IDEA (Individualized Developmental English Activities) English Language Proficiency Tests (IPT) are North Carolina s required assessments to comply with Title III of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. NCLB requires that states, beginning no later than school year , provide for an annual assessment of English language proficiency (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension in English) of all students with limited English proficiency in the schools served by the state [ref. Title I, SEC (a) (7)]. Due to this federal legislation, State Board policy mandates that all language-minority students be assessed using the IPT at initial enrollment. Students identified as limited English proficient (LEP), based solely on IPT scores, must be assessed annually during the window of February 1 April 30. A student who enrolls after January 1 is not retested during the same school year (ref. 16 NCAC 6G.0305, policy for delineating the annual performance standards for grades K 12) for accountability purposes. Language-minority students entering after the annual testing window must still be initially assessed using the IPT within thirty (30) days of enrollment. Federal legislation also mandates that a student who does not score Superior (the highest level of proficiency on the IPT) for all four subtests (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) must be retested annually in all four subtests. Determining if a student is identified as LEP is based solely on IPT test scores. A student remains LEP identified until he or she scores Superior for all four subtests of the IPT within the same test administration window. Scores from the IPT also help in making decisions to determine the student s LEP status and appropriate assessment accommodations. These scores, however, should be considered along with all other available information provided about the student. Scores on these tests are only one of the many indicators of how well the student is achieving. IPT K Individual Student Report The Individual Student Report for the IPT K provides information concerning an individual student s English language proficiency in four areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Score Ranges The possible score for each subtest is provided in the Score Ranges column at the top of the IPT Individual Student Report. After the raw score is calculated (as described in detail below) a standard score is generated. The standard score is the student s raw score placed on a unified, continuous underlying ability scale for all the grade spans and is used for reporting purposes. Listening and Speaking Sections For the IPT K, listening and speaking are assessed at the same time. The listening section is made up of 16 items, each of which is scored as Correct or Incorrect by the test administrator. Each item that is scored Correct is worth one raw score point. If the item is scored as Incorrect, the student receives zero raw score points for the item. The speaking section is made up of 17 items, 16 of which are scored as Correct or Incorrect by the test administrator. Each of these 16 items that are scored Correct is worth one raw score point. If the item is scored as Incorrect, the student receives zero raw score points for the item. There is one additional speaking item which is rubric scored. The rubric levels translate to raw score points, meaning that a rubric level of 0 equals zero raw score points, a rubric level of 1 equals one raw score point, up to a possible total of three raw score points for the item. The listening and speaking raw score points are totaled separately. Once the raw score for the listening section and the speaking section is computed, it is converted to a standard score. The standard score is used to determine the student s proficiency level. NCDPI Division of Accountability Services/North Carolina Testing Program Page 1 IPT May 2006

2 Reading and Writing Sections For the IPT K, reading and writing are assessed at the same time. The reading section is made up of 24 items, 23 of which are scored as Correct or Incorrect by the test administrator. Each item that is scored Correct is worth one raw score point. If the item is scored as Incorrect, the student receives zero raw score points for the item. There is one additional reading item that is rubric scored. The rubric levels translate to raw score points, meaning that a rubric level of 0 equals zero raw score points, a rubric level of 1 equals one raw score point, up to a possible total of three raw score points for the item. The writing section is made up of 24 items, 18 of which each are scored as Correct or Incorrect and 4 of which are scored as Yes or No by the test administrator based on the student s responses. Each item that is scored as Correct or as Yes is worth one raw score point. If the item is scored as Incorrect or No, the student receives zero raw score points for the item. The writing section also includes two items that are rubric scored. The rubric levels translate to raw score points, meaning that a rubric level of 0 equals zero raw score points, a rubric level of 1 equals one raw score point, up to a possible total of three raw score points per rubric-scored item. The reading and writing raw score points are totaled separately. Once the raw score for the reading section and the writing section is computed, it is converted to a standard score. The standard score is used to determine the student s proficiency level. Standard Score and Outcome The Standard Score column of the IPT Individual Student Report indicates the standard score that the student received for each IPT subtest. This standard score indicates the student s English language proficiency level as measured by the IPT. The Outcome column of the report indicates the English language proficiency level in which the score corresponds. There are six English language proficiency levels that are recognized from lowest level of English language proficiency to highest level of English language proficiency. The six levels include Novice Low, Novice High, Intermediate Low, Intermediate High, Advanced, and Superior. There are separate English language proficiency level descriptors for each grade level. These can be found on the NCDPI Accountability Services Web site at The proficiency levels are used to determine LEP identification, level of services, assessment accommodations, and/or use of the North Carolina Checklist of Academic Standards (NCCLAS), which is the state-designated alternate assessment for students who meet certain eligibility criteria. North Carolina Score Conversion Table IPT FORM A INITIAL IDENTIFICATION Kindergarten (Grade K) Sub test Grade Novice Low Novice High Inter. Low Inter. High Advanced Superior Listening K Speaking K Note: For initial identification, Kindergarten students only take the speaking and listening sections of the IPT K. For the annual assessment Kindergarten students are administered all four sections: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. NCDPI Division of Accountability Services/North Carolina Testing Program Page 2 IPT May 2006

3 Key Features of the IPT K Listening & Speaking The listening & speaking section is approximately 15 minutes in length. Actual testing time may vary depending on the student s English proficiency. There are 33 constructed-response and multiple-choice items on this section of the test. The IPT listening and speaking section focuses on the use of oral language in kindergarten classrooms. There are 7 parts in this section of the test. The seven parts measure students abilities to: 1) answer questions about themselves, 2) follow directions, 3) give directions, 4) understand and provide words in context, 5) listen actively, 6) listen to a story, and 7) retell a story. Key Features of the IPT Reading and Writing The reading and writing section is approximately 15 minutes in length. Actual testing time may vary depending on the student s English proficiency. There are 32 constructed-response and multiple-choice items on this section of the test. The IPT reading and writing section measures the development of early literacy skills. There are 15 parts in this section of the test. The 15 parts measure students abilities to: 1) name letters, 2) copy letters, 3) recognize same and different words, 4) group words by letter, 5) put letters in alphabetical order, 6) recognize beginning letters, 7) recognize ending letters, 8) read words, 9) read sentences, 10) read a story aloud, 11) comprehend a written story, 12) copy a word, 13) write a word, 14) copy a sentence, and 15) write a sentence. Language instruction is a necessary tool in improving a student s English language proficiency as measured by the IPT. The following section of this publication outlines information on language instruction placement, English language instructional programs, and the North Carolina English Language Development Standard Course of Study (ELD SCS). English as a Second Language (ESL) Instructional Information Language Instruction Placement Based on language instruction, students identified as limited English proficient should be placed with students their own age and according to their specific language needs. Their levels of English language proficiency are determined by the IPT, and the services provided to students should be determined by their English language proficiency levels on the four IPT subtests (listening, reading, writing, and speaking). Instructional Services English language services and instruction must be provided to all students identified as limited English proficient. The following are examples of program models in North Carolina. English as a Second Language (ESL) ESL programs instruct students from different language backgrounds in English. These programs may be delivered through an ESL pull-out program during the school day in conjunction with accommodations in the regular classroom. In middle and high schools, ESL instruction often occurs in a scheduled class period, also accompanied by accommodations in content area classes. Students in ESL programs may also receive native language support, but the primary language of instruction is English. Sheltered Classes Limited English proficient students are grouped together for specific content instruction in sheltered classes. They may be in a separate class or together as part of a mainstream class. English is the medium of instruction, but the teacher adapts the language to the proficiency levels of the students. In addition, the teacher assists the students to acquire the prior knowledge necessary to meet the objectives of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for that particular content area. Bilingual Program Initial instruction in content, especially in reading, is provided in the student s first language while he or she is acquiring English in bilingual programs. NCDPI Division of Accountability Services/North Carolina Testing Program Page 3 IPT May 2006

4 Two-way/Dual Language Programs In dual language programs, language-minority students from a single language background are grouped in the same classroom with native English-speaking students. Instruction is provided in both languages and students acquire proficiency in both languages. The English Language Development Standard Course of Study (ELD SCS) The North Carolina English Language Development Standard Course of Study (ELD SCS) establishes competency goals and objectives in English language proficiency for K 12 students whose first language is not English. This document focuses on the progressive development of the English language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing for personal, social, and, especially, academic purposes. It may be found on the ESL Website at The document is designed to set standards for growth leading to the attainment of full English language proficiency in accordance with the cognitive development of children and adolescents as well as the language needs of academic content, which becomes progressively demanding as the student moves up the K 12 continuum. The ELD SCS should serve as a guide to ESL teachers, classroom teachers, administrators, and support personnel as they make decisions concerning services to students identified as limited English proficient. The document provides a framework for schools that should be expanded by local districts to reflect the needs of their own student population. Additional Information As you review the IPT Individual Student Report, make notes about the test scores and other information that you do not understand. Be sure to discuss your questions with your child s teacher when you attend a parent-teacher-student conference. The back of the report provides space for your child s teacher to make comments; you may want to discuss these comments with your child s teacher. Remember that your child s teacher can best describe your child s performance on the IPT in addition to specific strengths and weaknesses observed throughout the past school year. For additional information on the IPT, visit the NCDPI Division of Accountability Services/North Carolina Testing Program Web site at For additional ESL instructional information visit the NCDPI ESL Web site at In compliance with federal laws, NC Public Schools administers all state-operated educational programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination because of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, color, age, military service, disability, or gender, except where exemption is appropriate and allowed by law. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to: Dr. Elsie C. Leak, Associate Superintendent, Office of Curriculum and School Reform Services, 6307 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC Telephone (919) ; fax (919) NCDPI Division of Accountability Services/North Carolina Testing Program Page 4 IPT May 2006

5 IDEA English Language Proficiency Test Individual Student Report Public Schools of North Carolina Spring 2006 Student School System Administration Assigned Grade Subtest Score Ranges Standard Score Outcome Listening Intermediate High 1 Reading Superior 2 Writing Advanced 3 Speaking Intermediate High 1 Novice Low Novice High Intermediate Low Intermediate High Advanced Superior The IDEA English Language Proficiency Test (IPT) kindergarten standards address the domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing as appropriate to the needs of the kindergarten student. 1 Intermediate High Students performing at the Intermediate High Level use expanded vocabulary to participate effectively in social and academic conversations and presentations. Occasional difficulty may occur. They may continue to use forms of non-verbal communication to demonstrate comprehension but rely more upon verbal skills. Learning objectives focus on rhyming words, retelling stories with richer vocabulary, incorporating grammatical rules, following one-step and two-step directions, and comprehending English spoken at a normal speed. 2 Superior Students at the Superior Level perform without difficulty when interpreting conversational and academic expressions of grade-level concepts when spoken at a normal speed. Learning objectives focus on retelling, narrating, paraphrasing, producing rhyming words independently, recognizing familiar environmental print, following three-step directions with no difficulties, and reading or interpreting their own writing with very few errors. 3 Advanced Students performing at the Advanced Level use expanded vocabulary effectively in social and academic settings and rely much less on forms of non-verbal communication. Occasional errors may occur. Learning objectives focus on narration and retelling using details and adjectives, paraphrasing events in greater detail, identifying punctuation marks, following two-step and three-step directions, and reading or interpreting their own writing with few errors. Students must score "Superior" on all sections of this test to be considered proficient in learning the English language. Additional information on the IDEA English Language Proficiency Test and testing students identified as limited English proficient may be found at: IndivRpt b, 5/10/2006 4:51:PM

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