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CELDT Notes, May 2012

Latest information on the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) program notes.

Reminder—Banking of Scores Not Allowed

Senate Bill (SB) 753 proposed changing the CELDT scoring process by “banking” the domain scores of Early Advanced or Advanced depending on the grade level. However, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) does not allow the banking of scores. In a response letter to the California Department of Education (CDE), the ED wrote, “States may not exempt English learner (EL) students from any portion of an annual assessment, nor ‘bank’ the proficient scores of EL students in particular domains in any given year or within a specific grade span until such time as a student is proficient in all domains.” Consequently, Education Code Section 60810(e) External link opens in new window or tab. (SB 753, Statute of 2011) related to banking of scores is null and void, and the CELDT must be administered in all domains (i.e., Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) in grades kindergarten through 12.

The CDE anticipates hearing from the ED in May about the permissibility of implementing the portion of SB 753 that would:
  • Move the annual assessment window to after 55 percent of the school year and continuing through the last day of the school year, and
  • Use the prior year’s CELDT edition for initial assessment from July 1 until 55 percent of instruction, and then use the current year’s CELDT assessment until June 30.
SB 753 specifically notes that this change cannot be implemented until ED provides a written response. The CDE will communicate to the field once the ED responds with written documentation. The 2012–13 CELDT development and administration will proceed as usual.

2012–13 CELDT Information Guide Coming Soon

The 2012–13 CELDT Information Guide will be posted in July 2012 on the CDE CELDT Resources Web page. This document provides information and materials to assist local educational agencies (LEAs) in understanding, using, and communicating individual and summary results of the CELDT to staff, parents and guardians, and the public.

New this year is more information on assessing students with disabilities including a Checklist of Key Actions for the Administration of the CELDT to Students with Disabilities, suggestions for establishing local reclassification guidelines for English learners with severe cognitive disabilities including the use of the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA), and information about the appropriateness of the CELDT for students who use American Sign Language.

CELDT Fundamentals Videos—New for 2012–13
These short videos provide basic CELDT information to new coordinators and other interested stakeholders to help build a stronger foundation of knowledge about the CELDT. Two streaming videos are posted to the Educational Data Systems CELDT Fundamentals External link opens in new window or tab. Web page. The first video, CELDT Overview, covers such topics as purposes of the CELDT, domains, grade spans, test components, and other basic topics. The second video, Who Takes the CELDT?, provides information about initial vs. annual assessment (AA), special category students, obtaining previous CELDT scores, unusual testing scenarios, and testing outside the AA window. The content is especially critical to staff new to the CELDT. It is recommended to view these videos locally prior to attending a statewide or local/regional Scoring Training of Trainers workshop.

Two more videos will be completed in June, CELDT Administration Basics and The CELDT Student Performance Level Score Report. These videos will be available in July 2012.

Proposed Legislation for 2013

Members of both the State Senate and Assembly have proposed several bills regarding ELs in the 2012 legislative cycle. Pending legislation includes, but is not limited to: uniform definitions for long-term English Learners and reclassified English proficient students (SB 754 and Assembly Bill [AB] 2193); a report on reclassification of ELs (SB 1108); required parental notification to accompany the home language survey (AB 1767); and the development of a statewide master plan for ELs (SB 1109). The latest versions of proposed bills are available on the new California Legislative Information External link opens in new window or tab. Web site.

Scoring Training of Trainers Workshops

The Scoring Training of Trainers (STOT) workshops for the 2012–13 Edition of the CELDT are provided to individuals who will train test examiners and who may administer the test in their respective county, district, or independently-testing charter schools. All test examiners must be trained to administer and score the CELDT.

Eight statewide workshops were completed in April and six more will take place in May. Additional workshops will be provided on August 21, 2012 at the Orange County Office of Education in Costa Mesa, and on August 28, 2012 at the Sacramento County Office of Education in Sacramento. Due to the limited number of seats at each workshop, only the CELDT District Coordinator is allowed to register participants for the workshops through the District Portal External link opens in new window or tab. Web page. For further inquiries about STOT workshops, please contact the CELDT Customer Support Center by phone at 866-850-1039 or by e-mail at

A list of local/regional trainings is available on the Educational Data Systems Local/Regional Training External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

A Comparison Study of Kindergarten and Grade One English-Fluent Students and English Learners

In 2009, the CDE commissioned a special study of K–1 students to find how differently English-fluent students perform on the CELDT than do students identified as having a language other than English as their primary language. A total of 1,386 English-fluent kindergarten students and 495 grade one students from 100 schools were administered the 2010–11 Edition of the CELDT in the fall of 2010. Their performance on the CELDT was compared to that of English learners in the same schools who took the test at the same time.

The general conclusion is that on the whole, the K–1 CELDT assessment operates comparably for English Only (EO) and English learner (EL) students. The data show that the test differentiates EO and EL students in practically significant ways. The listening and speaking domains differentiate the two groups more sharply than the reading and writing domains. The differences are roughly twice as large for kindergarten students as for grade one students. The largest differences occur in speaking, where kindergarten EO students score 134 scale score points higher than kindergarten EL students. The smallest differences occur in writing, where grade one EO students score 17 points higher than grade one EL students. This comparison study is available on the CDE CELDT Technical Documentation Web page.

Release of CELDT 2011–12 Annual Assessment Summary Results
In May 2012, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will release the annual assessment (AA) summary results for the 2011–12 Edition of the CELDT. AA summary results will be available at the state, county, district, and school levels on the CDE DataQuest Web site. The comprehensive results for2011–12, including initial assessments conducted through June 30, 2012, will be available in the fall of 2012.

The CELDT AA data were collected during the AA window from July 1, 2011 through October 31, 2011. The results for students assessed during the AA window are used to calculate the annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAOs) 1 and 2 required by Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. For further inquiries about AMAOs, please contact the Evaluation, Research, and Analysis Office by phone at 916-323-3071 or by e-mail at
Questions:   English Language Proficiency Assessments Office | | 916-319-0784
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 8, 2016
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