The following list of FAQs gives information about the ASSETS grant and key components of the assessment system.  More detailed FAQs about the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 summative test and field test are available under Implementation.

What is the goal of the ASSETS grant?

The ASSETS grant is a four-year, $10.5 million grant from the United States Department of Education through which WIDA, lead state the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and project partners are developing the next generation of English Language Proficiency tests.

What resources will be developed through the ASSETS grant?

The grant supports the development of a computer-based summative assessment for grades 1-12 (ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0), a computer-based screener, computer-based interim assessments, and the foundation for formative resources.

Will the new screener replace the W-APT and MODEL?

MODEL will continue to be available and WIDA and member states are discussing the future of the W-APT. More information will be provided in summer/fall 2014.

When will the new assessment system and resources be implemented?

The new resources will be fully operational in the 2015-16 school year. A detailed description of the development time line is available on the Grant & Timeline page.

What changes should I expect in the transition to the new assessment system?

The computer-based summative assessment will continue to assess the four domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, but will utilize new features that allow students to demonstrate what they know in more dynamic ways. The What’s New In ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 page describes changes to the summative assessment for each domain and grade level.

The new screener will include items with a similar look and feel to the summative assessment. The system will also include entirely new interim assessments.

In addition to the new assessments, educators will have access to formative resources in the form of Dynamic Language Learning Progressions.

How are educators involved in creating the new assessment system?

WIDA will continue its tradition of including educators at many stages of the test development process. Educators across the consortium are invited to participate in the field test for ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 and will have opportunities to provide feedback on the new test items and implementation processes. More information about opportunities to participate are posted on the Get Involved section of the ASSETS website.

What standards is the system based on?

The new assessment system will be based on the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards, 2012 Edition, which correspond to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

How will the changes to the assessment system affect me?

If you are an educator in an ASSETS state, you will be transitioning from a paper-based language proficiency assessment to a computer-based assessment. You will also have access to new resources, such as a computer-based screener, computer-based interim assessments, and formative resources.

If you are a district facilitator/LEA, your primary role will be providing your staff and students with the knowledge and resources (training, technology, etc.) they need to ensure a successful transition to online testing. More information about ASSETS and WIDA support will be available via this website and additional updates.

How should I prepare for the transition to computerized testing?

WIDA will be conducting extensive outreach to ensure that states and districts have the resources they need to prepare for the new assessments. Information about technology requirements, FAQs, and preparation resources for the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 field test and operational test are available under the Implementation section of this website.

What does it mean to join ASSETS? Can my state join?

Joining ASSETS enables states and districts to participate in the test development and consortium activities during the grant period and means the state plans to participate in computerized testing at the end of the grant period.

Since the ASSETS project is a federally funded grant, states that were not a part of the original grant proposal need to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and agree to abide by the ASSETS Consortium’s governing policies. These governing policies were created to explain the structure of the consortium during the grant period and the benefits of membership. There is a $6,000 annual fee for new states that covers expenses associated with participation and travel.

States interested in joining should contact Phil Olsen, Project Director at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

What is the relationship between the ASSETS Consortium and the WIDA Consortium?

The ASSETS Consortium is the group of states participating in the federally funded effort to create the next generation English Language Proficiency assessment system, including ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. At the end of the ASSETS grant period, the ASSETS Consortium will end and states that want to use the new assessment system will need to join the WIDA Consortium. Please note that most ASSETS states are already WIDA member states or expect to be by the end of the grant period.