Assessment Services Supporting ELs through Technology Systems (ASSETS)

Official ASSETS Project website

ASSETS is a state-led consortium with the aim of providing innovative and comprehensive assessment tools in order to help English learners succeed in becoming college- and career-ready. The consortium will build on the foundation of standards, assessment, professional development, and research already developed by the managing partner, WIDA. The work is funded by a US Department of Education enhanced assessment instrument grant. The grant is for $10,486,195 and runs from September 30, 2011, to September 29, 2015. The grant partners include:

  • Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)
  • Data Recognition Corporation (DRC)
  • MetriTech, Inc.
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • WestEd
  • World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) - Managing Partner

Project Highlights

  • Consortium Structure
    State Education Agencies (SEAs) will play an active role in the design, implementation, governance, and policymaking of the assessment system.
  • Comprehensive Assessment System
    The consortium will develop technology-based summative, benchmark, and screener assessments in addition to formative assessment resources for use in the classroom.
  • Technology-Based Training
    The consortium will create an interactive online application to teach educators to rate students’ oral language proficiency.
  • Professional Development
    The consortium will create professional development related to implementing the assessment system, including effectively using assessment results.
  • Research to Inform Practice
    The consortium will study whether the assessments are being implemented as designed and whether the intended effects on individuals and institutions are being realized. The assessments, materials, and policies will be adjusted as needed based on the research findings.
  • Membership
    There are 35 SEA members serving more than 1 million English learners, representing 22% of the K-12 English learner population in the United States.*


    Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin**, Wyoming, US Virgin Islands.

    *National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data, 2009-10

    **Fiscal Agent
  • Timeline
    (Summative Assessment)
    Grant Year School Year Phase
    1 2011-12 Development
    2 2012-13 Pilot Testing
    3 2013-14 Field Testing
    4 2014-15 Pre-Operationalization
    -- 2015-16 Fully Operational

  • Committees
    National Development Advisory Council
    Responsibilities Advise on test content development.
    • Cheryl Alcaya (Minnesota Department of Education)
    • Carol Chapelle (University of Iowa)
    • Alison Bailey (UCLA)
    • Margaret Heritage (UCLA)
    • Joan Jamieson (Northern Arizona)
    • Robert Linquanti (WestEd)
    • Edward Roeber (Michigan State University)
    • Mary J Schleppegrell (University of Michigan)
    • Aida Walqui (WestEd)
    Steering Committee
    Responsibilities Provide direction related to the project scope, deliverables, and policies.
    • Philip Olsen (WI Department of Public Instruction)
    • Nancy Mullins (Maine Department of Education)
    • Ilhye Yoon (Maryland State Department of Education)
    • Jennifer Paul (Michigan Department of Education)
    • Melissa Mc Gavock (Oklahoma State Department of Education)
    • James McCobb (Vermont Department of Education)
    • Robert Fugate (Virginia Department of Education)
    • Barry Pedersen (Illinois State Board of Educaton)
    Technical Advisory Committee
    Responsibilities Advise on psychometric and technical issues.
    • Jamal Abedi (UC Davis)
    • Lyle Bachman (UCLA)
    • Akihito Kamata (University of Oregon)
    • Tim Kurtz (New Hampshire Department of Education)
    • Carol Myford (University of Illinois at Chicago)

    The Official ASSETS Project Website -

    Please contact Phil Olsen if you have an interest in serving on an ASSETS Subcommittee


    Purpose The purpose of the Accommodations Subcommittee is to work with project partners, stakeholders, and national experts to ensure that appropriate accommodations for English learners with disabilities can be provided on the new ASSETS assessments. The committee will recommend for adoption a common set of policies to promote equitable student participation in the new assessments, including designing and developing accommodations, accommodations policies, and methods for standardizing the use of accommodations for English learners with disabilities.


    Dan Wiener (MA)

    Subject Matter Liaison:

    Elizabeth Cranley



    Audrey Lesondak (WI)

    Susan Beard (AL)

    Robin Holbrook (WY)

    Drew Linkon (MO)

    Michelle Blakey-Tuggle (DC)

    Boon Lee (IL)

    Carrie Perkis (NC)

    Dely Roberts (AL)

    Terry Richard (DE)

    Linda Howley (MI)

    Grace Gray (AK)


    English Learner Definition
    Purpose The purpose of the EL Definition subcommittee is to review policy implications regarding a common definition of English learner with respect toEnglish proficient classification, initial identification, placement and reclassification/exit.

    Chair:David Holbrook (WY)


    Subject Matter Liaison:

    Margo Gottlieb, Gary Cook



    Dan Auman (NC)

    Nadja Trez (NC)

    Leigh Schleicher (MN)

    Maria Silva (MI)

    Raquel Sinai (NJ)

    James McCobb (VT)

    Seon Eun (IL)

    Crystal Fields (SC)

    Michelle Williams (MI)

    Jonathan Gibson (NV)

    Christina Nava (ID)


    Purpose The purpose of the Reporting Subcommittee is to work with project partners, stakeholders, and national experts to make recommendations regarding the way data is reported and used to meets the needs of educators, parents, students, administrators, policy makers, researchers, and the public.
    Membership Chair:


    Subject Matter Liaison:

    Pakou Vang

    Susan Feldman



    Ursula Lentz (MN)

    Helga Fasciano (NC)

    Shannon Malone (SD)

    Jason Kolb (MI)

    Robert Fugate (VA)

    Ji Zeng (MI)

    Ivanna Thrower (NC)


    Purpose The purpose of the Technology Subcommittee is to provide guidance and expertise on developing and implementing technology-based summative and benchmark assessments; reporting; training tools; and readiness tools.
    Membership  Chair:

    Jennifer Paul (MI)


    Subject Matter Liaison:

    Carsten Wilmes



    Brian Swiger (NC)

    Cheryl Alcaya (MN)

    Matthew Ayotte (MI)

    Barry Pedersen (IL)

    Jan Lanier (TN)

    Paulette Watson (MA)

    Andrea Somoza-Norton (NH)


  • Key Project Personnel
    Project Director/DPI

    Troy Couillard, Director
    Office of Student Assessment

    Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

    Project Coordinator for Member States/DPI

    Phil Olsen
    Office of Student Assessment

    Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
    (608) 266-8779

    Principal Investigator/WIDA Timothy Boals, Ph.D.
    Executive Director
    WIDA Consortium
    Principal Investigator/WIDA Elizabeth Cranley, Ph.D.
    Associate Director
    WIDA Consortium
    Project Director/WIDA Carsten Wilmes, Ph.D.
    Assistant Director of Assessment
    WIDA Consortium
    Project Manager for Test Development/WIDA Meredith Alt
    WIDA Consortium
    (608) 262-8759
    Project Director/CAL Dorry Kenyon, Ph.D., Director
    Language Testing Division
    Center for Applied Linguistics
For questions about this information, contact