The English Language Proficiency Assessment Research Working Meeting: Summative Assessments (i.e., the Working Meeting) took place on June 11, 2014. The focus of the Working Meeting was on the annual, summative English language proficiency (ELP) assessments. Presentations on key issues and research on the ELP assessments were given, followed by whole- and small-group discussions. This paper is the result of the Working Meeting: the authors report the most pressing issues related to ELP assessments that emerged from the meeting’s presentations and discussions. The purpose of this paper is to “inform national and state leaders with respect to opportunities, challenges, and strategic areas of focus related to the improvement of summative ELP assessments and their uses” (p. 5). In light of major, common issues that participants raised at the Working Meeting, the authors identify key policy areas that need federal and/or state policy makers’ attention and makes recommendations on the use of summative ELP assessments to improve EL education.
This paper provides a very detailed description of the current context, issues, and opportunities facing ELP summative assessment. Its analysis and recommendations would be very helpful to policymakers, researchers, and practitioners involved in the use and development of ELP summative assessments.