Validate a Placement Test for English Language Learner Program Placement


National Geographic School Publishing (NGSP)

The Challenge: 

A growing number of students speak a language other than English as their primary language. It is critical that students be placed in the appropriate instructional level to have the best opportunity for success. NGSP, a provider of English language instruction and assessment, recognized the importance of proper placement and asked SEG to validate the Placement Test they had developed. They needed to ensure that the tests were psychometrically sound and that the scores and recommended placements led to proper placement decisions. SEG was asked to conduct a validity study for the assessment.

The Solution: 

SEG conducted a psychometric analysis of the measures developed and conducted a validity study. Using both classical and Item Response Theory, SEG evaluated test and item performance. SEG verified that the items and tests were psychometrically sound. In order to validate the assessments, SEG conducted several analyses including: 1) a construct validity study; the new measures were compared to established standardized measures and were factor analyzed to evaluate the internal consistency of the tests, and 2) a study of the accuracy of placements based on the Placement Test Scores.