February 12, 2003

Paper copies of this memorandum and of the NCS machine scannable order form will be mailed to all school principals in the next one to two weeks. All principals should receive them by February 18, 2003. Please do not call our office prior to this date to request a copy of the order form.

 

February 2003

 

TO: District Superintendents

Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools

Principals of Public, Nonpublic, and Charter Schools

FROM: Gerald E. DeMauro, Coordinator

SUBJECT: Procedures for Ordering, Shipping, and Storing the New York State

English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT)

IMPORTANT: Your schoolís order for NYSESLAT materials must be placed via the enclosed machine-readable order form. Return the completed form to the Department no later than March 1, 2003. Be sure to retain a photocopy of the completed order form for your files.

This memorandum provides information concerning the ordering, shipping, and storing of test materials for the NYSESLAT. The Department is sending one copy each of this memorandum and the machine-readable order form to the principal of each public, nonpublic, and charter school. It is also sending an informational copy of this memorandum to each district superintendent and to each public and nonpublic school superintendent. Information on training for the administration and scoring of the NYSESLAT will be sent under separate cover to the principals and superintendents of schools ordering copies of this test.

This document and information in subsequent mailings pertaining to the NYSESLAT will be posted on the Departmentís web site at http:www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/testing/nyseslat.html. If you have any questions concerning the ordering of NYSESLAT materials or any of the other information in this memorandum, call 518-474-8220 for assistance.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires that the English proficiency of all limited-English-proficient (LEP) students (as defined in Education Law ß3204[2-a][3]) be measured annually. New York State is introducing a new assessment of the English proficiency of LEP students. Beginning in May 2003, all LEP students enrolled in grades Kindergarten to 12 in all public and charter schools must take the NYSESLAT. LEP students enrolled in public and charter schools must take this assessment to evaluate their English proficiency even if they have taken or will be taking the Grade 4 or 8 English Language Arts (ELA) Test, the Regents Comprehensive Examination in English, or for certain LEP students with disabilities, a Regents Competency Test in Reading or Writing in 2003. Nonpublic schools are encouraged to administer the NYSESLAT to their LEP students.

NCLB also requires that the language-arts proficiency of LEP students be measured as part of the school accountability program. The United States Department of Education has approved the use of the NYSESLAT as the required measure of English-language-arts proficiency for LEP students in grades 4 and 8 who have attended school in the United States (not including Puerto Rico) for fewer than three consecutive years or who have attended for four or five consecutive years and have received an exemption as described below.

For LEP students who have attended school in the United States for four or five consecutive years, public school districts and nonpublic and charter schools may determine annually, on an individual basis, that the NYSESLAT, rather than the Grades 4 and 8 ELA Tests, would likely yield more accurate and reliable information about a studentís achievement in English language arts. Districts and charter schools must ensure that records of such individual exemptions are maintained. LEP students beyond their fifth year are not eligible for this exemption and must take the Grade 4 or 8 ELA Test as well as the NYSESLAT.

Materials for the NYSESLAT must be ordered on the enclosed machine-readable order form. The original order form must be returned to this office by March 1, 2003. The Department cannot accept photocopies or facsimiles of the order form. Retain a photocopy for your records. The principal of each school ordering the NYSESLAT must complete the Storage Plan on page 2 of the order form. The order will not be processed unless the NYSESLAT Storage Plan portion of the form has been completed and the form has been signed and dated by the principal. After the order form has been processed by the Department, each school will be sent a confirmation notice indicating the number of examinations to be shipped. The principal should check the confirmation notice as soon as it is received to ensure that the correct quantities of materials will be shipped. All schools ordering test materials by March 1 should receive their confirmation notice by March 20.

Administrators who determine that additional test materials are needed after the order form has been submitted should fax a supplemental order to 518-474-1989. An updated confirmation notice will be sent. It should be checked immediately to ensure that the materials to be shipped include the supplemental order. Please make every effort to place all supplemental orders by March 30. Requests for test materials that are received after that date will be honored but may be delivered to schools substantially later than those received by this deadline.

SCHEDULING THE NYSESLAT

The NYSESLAT is to be administered between May 14 and May 30, 2003. The test has four sections: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing. The Listening, Reading, and Writing sections must be administered to classes or groups of LEP students during three separate sessions on three separate days of the schoolís choosing within the testing period. The tests are untimed, but schools should expect that most test takers in grades 2 and above will complete each of these three sections within about 50 minutes. These three sections of the K-1 test are considerably shorter, requiring approximately 25 minutes each for the Listening and Reading sections and 15 minutes for the Writing section. The Speaking section must be administered to students individually and in a location separate from other students. Schools should allow 15 minutes per student for the administration of the Speaking section of the NYSESLAT.

ORDERING TEST MATERIALS FOR THE NYSESLAT

The NYSESLAT materials that will be needed for students in each school must be ordered on the enclosed machine-readable order form. Information for ordering test materials is provided below. An order must be submitted for each school in which the tests will be administered. The orders for two or more schools in a district must not be combined into one order.

SHIPPING OF TEST MATERIALS

The NYSESLAT materials shipment will be delivered on May 9, 12, or 13. All test shipments will be delivered by UPS and may be delivered at any time between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

STORAGE OF TEST MATERIALS

The NYSESLAT materials must be stored in the secure location designated in the NYSESLAT Storage Plan for your school. All secure test materials must be placed in the storage location as soon as they are received, and access to the test materials must be restricted to ensure that test security is maintained. If the building where the tests will be administered does not have a secure location large enough to hold the NYSESLAT materials, arrangements must be made to store the test materials at an alternate location. Secure test materials for NYSESLAT may not be removed from the secure storage location until the day scheduled for the administration of that section of the test, except for taking inventory of the test materials when they are received. The sealed packages of secure test materials must not be opened during the inventory.

All secure test materials, including used and unused student test booklets and teacherís guides, will remain secure after test administration and must be returned to the Department at the conclusion of scoring. Additional information about the return of test materials to the Department will be provided in a mailing sent to principals shortly before the test administration, in the teacherís directions, and in the shipment of the secure test materials.

The following page provides a description of the NYSESLAT administered at each grade level.

 

 

 

Enclosure

Description of the NYSESLAT

The NYSESLAT assessments reflect the New York State Learning Standards for both English as a Second Language and English Language Arts. The assessments have the following features.

For Spring 2003, NYSESLAT provides five grade-level assessments:

  • PreK-1

  • 2-4

  • 5-6

  • 7-8

  • 9-12

Each grade-level assessment includes all four language modalities:

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Test Section

    Administration

    Estimated Time*

    Basic Format

    LISTENING

    To a group
    of students

    25 minutes

    The teacher reads the assessment to the students. All the questions are multiple-choice, with pictures for the options. The students circle their answers in their test books. Tasks range from simple identification of pertinent information to understanding the elements of a brief story.

    READING

    To a group
    of students

    25 minutes

    The teacher reads a script to guide the students through the K-1 Reading assessment. All questions are multiple-choice, with single letters, words, and pictures for the options. Tasks range from identification of letters and sounds to choosing answers to questions about stories of a few sentences. The students circle their answers in their test books.

    SPEAKING

    To individual students

    10 minutes

    The teacher instructs the student to look at pictures in a test book and asks the student questions about those pictures. The student speaks in response to these questions.

    WRITING

    To a group
    of students

    15 minutes

    The teacher asks the students to write single words; short, dictated sentences; and a short description of a picture they see.

    * These times include time for the teacher to give instructions to the students as well as for the students to
    take the test.

    Features of the NYSESLAT for Grades 2-12

    Test Section

    Administration

    Estimated Time*

    Basic Format

    LISTENING

    To a group
    of students

    45 minutes

    Students listen to stimuli on audiotapes and answer questions printed in their test books.

    READING

    To a group
    of students

    50 minutes

    Students answer multiple-choice and con-structed-response questions based on reading passages printed in their test books.

    SPEAKING

    To individual students

    15 minutes

    The student speaks in response to questions and stimuli that are read by the teacher and printed in his or her test book.

    WRITING

    To a group
    of students

    50 minutes

    Students write and perform writing exercises in response to questions and stimuli printed in their test books.

    * These times include time for the teacher to give instructions to the students as well as for the students to
    take the test.