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Reclassification Guidance 2017-18

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
April 28, 2017

Dear County Superintendents, District Superintendents, and Direct-funded Charter School Administrators:

RECLASSIFICATION GUIDANCE FOR 2017–18

On December 3, 2013, the California Department of Education (CDE) provided guidance regarding the passage of Assembly Bill (AB) 484 (Bonilla) to address concerns regarding the academic criterion for reclassification of English Learners (ELs) in the 2013–14 school year. AB 484 suspended the California Standards Test and the California Modified Assessment in English language arts and mathematics.

On August 11, 2014, the CDE provided additional information with examples of the adjustments reported by local educational agencies (LEAs) to their reclassification criteria to ensure that reclassification continued to be established in a way that allowed for the “effective and efficient conduct of the language reclassification process” in accordance with Title 5, Section 11303 of the California Code of Regulations (5 CCR). Since the 2015–16 school year, the reclassification criteria, pursuant to California Education Code Section 313, has remained unchanged. However, Senate Bill 463 (Lara) which is currently under review, could impact reclassification criteria. If it becomes law, the CDE would issue further reclassification guidance.

Reclassification Criteria

LEAs are to continue using the following four criteria to establish local reclassification policies and procedures:

  1. Assessment of English language proficiency (ELP), using an objective assessment instrument, including, but not limited to, the state test of English language development; and
  2. Teacher evaluation, including, but not limited to, a review of the student’s curriculum mastery; and
  3. Parent opinion and consultation; and
  4. Comparison of student performance in basic skills against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills based on the performance of English proficient students of the same age.

In spring 2015, LEAs administered the first operational Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments. On September 16, 2015, the CDE provided guidance to LEAs for using those results, if they chose, as a local measure of the fourth criterion. LEAs were also advised that they could identify local assessments to be used to determine English learners (ELs) who were meeting academic measures that indicated they were ready to be reclassified. This guidance regarding the fourth criterion remains unchanged.

Options for the English Language Proficiency Assessment Criterion

In the CDE’s continued effort to provide LEAs with guidance, beginning in fall 2017, in addition to the reclassification criteria for numbers two through four above, LEAs may refer to one or more of the following options as they determine their local criteria for the assessment of ELP (number one above):
  1. Utilize 2016-17 California English Language Development Test (CELDT) Scores
Scenario 1 Assessment of English Language Proficiency Steps to take

My student did not meet the CELDT criterion in 2016–17.

For example:
  • Students in kindergarten and grade one are considered to have not met the CELDT criterion for English proficiency
  • Students in grades two through twelve are considered to have not met the CELDT criterion for English proficiency

Use the CELDT as the primary criterion.

  • For Kindergarten and grade one, the CELDT criterion is an overall score of Early Advanced or higher. The Reading and Writing domain scores usually are not considered for K–1.
  • For grades two through twelve, the CELDT criterion is an overall score of Early Advanced or higher and scores for each domain (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) at Intermediate or higher.
  1. Use your student’s 2016–17 CELDT scores.
  2. Adjust local criterion based on your locally determined objective assessment instrument that confirms this growth.
  3. Reclassify your student if/when all four district criteria are met.
Scenario 2 Assessment of English Language Proficiency Steps to take

My student met the CELDT criterion in 2016–17.

For example:
  • Students in kindergarten and grade one are considered to have met the CELDT criterion for English proficiency
  • Students in grades two through twelve are considered to have met the CELDT criterion for English proficiency
  • For Kindergarten and grade one, the CELDT criterion is an overall score of Early Advanced or higher. The Reading and Writing domain scores usually are not considered for K–1.
  • For grades two through twelve, the CELDT criterion is an overall score of Early Advanced or higher and scores for each domain (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing) at Intermediate or higher.
  1. Use your student’s 2016–17 CELDT scores.
  2. Reclassify your student if/when all four district criteria are met.
  1. Readminister the 2016–17 Edition CELDT in 2017­–18 to obtain more current ELP assessment results. Since administering the CELDT Annual Assessment (AA) in 2017–18 would be supplemental to the mandated English Language Proficiency Assessments for California, LEAs could use their supplemental state and federal funds to enter into an agreement with Educational Data Systems (EDS) to procure and score test materials. Please note that these CELDT scores are considered unofficial.
Scenario 1 Steps to take
My LEA has a sufficient amount of 2016–17 CELDT AA test materials to readminister the CELDT to all of our students being considered for reclassification.
  1. Readminister the 2016–17 CELDT, and locally score the Answer Books.
  2. Reclassify your student if/when all four district criteria are met.
  3. Return or locally destroy your 2016–17 materials as directed by the testing contractor, EDS.
Scenario 2 Steps to take
My LEA has an insufficient amount of 2016–17 CELDT AA Answer Books to readminister the CELDT to all of our students being considered for reclassification.
  1. Enter into an agreement* with EDS to order a special edition of the CELDT Answer Books and/or have them scored by EDS. Or, locally score the Answer Books.
  2. Reclassify your student if/when all four district criteria are met.
  3. Return or locally destroy your 2016–17 materials as directed by the testing contractor, EDS.

*The CDE is currently in the process of authorizing EDS to offer these services. EDS will provide additional information at a later date.

These guidelines do not exempt LEAs from administering the ELPAC Summative Assessment in spring 2018, as this is the new ELP assessment that will be used for accountability purposes.

As a reminder, California regulations (5 CCR, sections 11303 Reclassification and 11308 [c][6] Advisory Committee) specify that any local reclassification criteria must be reviewed by the school district committee on programs and services for ELs.

If you have questions regarding the reclassification policy, please contact the Language Policy and Leadership Office by phone at 916-319-0845. For more information on reclassification, please visit the CDE Resources Web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/el/resources.asp.

For questions related to the assessment of ELs, please contact the English Language Proficiency and Spanish Assessments Office, by phone at 916-319-0784 or by e-mail CELDT@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Thomas Adams
Deputy Superintendent
Instruction, Learning, and Standards Support Branch

Keric Ashley
Deputy Superintendent
District, School, and Innovation Branch

TA/KA md/ta

cc: Regional Assessment Network
Title III Directors
Bilingual Coordinators Network
CELDT District Coordinators

Last Reviewed: Monday, August 5, 2019

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