Mission & Overview
FLARE's mission is to promote educational equity and academic achievement for linguistically and culturally diverse students through the development and dissemination of curricular, instructional, and assessment products and resources.
The FLARE project encompasses the following six key goals and objectives:
- To improve the learning and achievement of English Language Learners (ELLs) and provide teachers with practical tools for keeping ELLs on track for academic success and post-secondary opportunities.
- To improve the high school graduation rates and college readiness of ELLs.
- To support and expand English as a second language (ESL) and bilingual teachers' capacity to evaluate their students.
- To provide the necessary materials and training to support the effective implementation of formative and interim assessments in ELL classrooms.
- To develop valid and reliable formative and interim measures of students' progress in academic English language proficiency.
- To pioneer a formative assessment model for ELLs in the middle and high school grades using best practices.
The FLARE project, under the direction of Principal Investigator H. Gary Cook and Project Manager Paula A. White, is designed to assist teachers in measuring student progress in developing the essential language needed for success in academic classes. Quality, ongoing feedback from these assessments will help teachers and students target learning objectives and thus more effectively prepare students to accelerate learning toward the goal of language proficiency and post-secondary academic success.
Language Assessment Frameworks
A foundational component of the FLARE project is the assessment frameworks. The assessment frameworks are matrices of content-specific, sequential language learning goals that span Grades 6-12.
These frameworks were created from a fusion of:
These served as the reference point for subsequent FLARE materials -- specifically, the language learning progressions and FLARE test specifications -- that guided the development of FLARE formative assessment. Assessment frameworks are organized across two grade-level clusters (Grades 6-8 and 9-12) and into four content areas: language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The assessment frameworks, language learning progressions , and FLARE assessments are organized across three English language proficiency-level bands: Tier A-levels 1-3, Tier B-levels 2-4, and Tier C-levels 3-5 **.
For those familiar with the ACCESS for ELLs, the WIDA Consortium's language proficiency assessment, the proficiency band organization is similar. (** WIDA has five proficiency levels: Level 1 Entering, Level 2 Beginning, Level 3 Developing, Level 4 Expanding, Level 5 Bridging).