An assessment of students’ literacy abilities based on: The Atlantic Canada English Language Arts Curriculum Outcomes (grade 8) The New Brunswick Provincial Achievement Standards in Reading and Writing (End of grade 8)
To assure a measure of functional literacy, especially in reading and writing, as defined by the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) with support from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Assures that high school students meet the minimum grade 8 reading and writing standards upon graduation.
Department of Education uses the data to provide a perspective on trends in school, district, and the provincial achievement in meeting literacy standards. Sandra McKinnon – Director, Assessment and Evaluation Branch
ELPA – Written by grade 9 students ELPR – Written by grade 11/12 students Written each year at the end of January Consists of two parts: 1. Reading Component – 90 min. 2. Two Writing components – 60 min. each
The Reading portion consists of 50 multiple choice questions on a variety of texts. (This year’s assessment had 8 passages)Reading Aligns perfectly with the Reading Achievement StandardsStandards www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e
Reading and Viewing GCO# 4 – Students will be expected to select, read, and view, with understanding a range of literature, information, media, and visual texts. (p. 16) Clarification: Students will be expected to select and demonstrate understanding of a wide range of print and visual materials. (p.199) READING “the lines” www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e
Reading and Viewing GCO# 6 – Students will be expected to respond personally to a range of texts. (p.16) Clarification: Students will be expected to express reactions to and opinions about print and visual materials. (p.199) READING “between the lines” www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e
Reading and Viewing GCO# 7 – Students will be expected to respond critically to a range of texts, applying their understanding of language, form and genre. (p. 16) Clarification: Students will be expected to understand the effect of language, style and format on print and visual materials. (p.199) READING “beyond the lines” www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e
The Writing portion consists of 2 sections – Writing I and Writing IIWriting Aligns perfectly with the Writing Achievement Standards – The 6 traits of writing. Standards www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e
Writing and Representing GCO# 8 – Students will be expected to use writing and other forms of representation to explore, clarify, and reflect on their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and learning; and to use their imaginations. (p. 16) Clarification: Students will be expected to write and use other means to express thoughts and feelings. (p. 199) Content / Organization www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e
Writing and Representing GCO# 9 – Students will be expected to create texts collaboratively and independently, using a variety of forms for a range of audiences and purposes. (p. 16) Clarification: Students will be expected to produce written and other types of creative work individually and in groups. (p. 199) Organization www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e
Writing and Representing GCO# 10 – Students will be expected to use a range of strategies to develop effective writing and other ways of representing, and to enhance clarity, precision and effectiveness. (p. 16) Clarification: Students will be expected to use effective style and format (including spelling, grammar and punctuation) in writing and other forms of expression. (p. 199) Word Choice/Voice/Sentence Structure/Conventions www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e
Written at end of first semester of grade 9 ELPA is based on outcomes at the end of grade 8. (OECD’s definition of functional literacy) Assessment done in grade 9 for logistical purposes to assure information received at the high school level. Sandra McKinnon – Director, Assessment and Evaluation Branch
Speaking and Listening – GCO #1-3, NO Reading and Viewing – GCO #5 research NO Reading and Viewing – GCO #4, 6, 7 YES Writing and Viewing – GCO # 8 – 10 somewhat
ELPA ensures that students have specific skills on which we focus (figures of speech, imagery, levels of reading etc.) But only Reading and Writing. Method of evaluation does not fit with current pedagogical method of instruction Reading 8 passages in 90 minutes Writing process in one 1 hour (twice) Vocabulary / Context issues
Although writing is assessed based on the Write Traits program, the curriculum was not designed to be assessed by one program or rubric. If the assessment were to measure the reading competencies of our students, it would not place the exam in grade 9, not assess in January and not rely on elementary programs pushed by a publisher.
When the curriculum was written, the members of the curriculum committee were more interested in unifying the teaching approach and less inclined towards the assessment.
Only assesses Reading and Writing Does measure fundamental skills of Reading and Writing at a “literate” level. I believe it is a good systems check to see where students and schools are in terms of basic skills. ELPA needs to be created here in NB and be more in line with current pedagogy.
Cost $250,000 Approximately $11/student Sandra McKinnon – Director, Assessment and Evaluation Branch
Provides information to allow schools to intervene with struggling students. Creates a sense of accountability and that’s OK! Creates a standard of literacy. Teachers that attend the marking session state that it is the best PD they ever receive!
Data can be skewed as all SEP-I, SEP M and students who did not write the assessment are counted as incomplete. Most teachers know, after a short time with their students, who will pass the assessment. (With a scary degree of accuracy.) Struggling readers have a hard time. They do not need an ELPA to tell them this.
Atlantic Canada English Language Arts Curriculum – High School Reading and Writing Achievement Standards Curriculum – Grade 9 ELPA-R Policy Document ELPA-R Test Specifications 2011-12 www.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#ewww.gnb.ca/0000/anglophone-e.asp#e (Accessed April 22, 2012) Special thanks to Sandra McKinnon, Director of the Assessment and Evaluation Branch for the Department of Education Thanks to the many teachers who contributed their point of view