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Applied Linguistics alumni receive grant from U.S. Department of Education
Author: Stephanie M Sandmeyer
Posted: October 2, 2019

Portland State University Applied Linguistics graduates Laurene Christensen, Ph.D. (MA 2002) and James Mitchell (MA 2018) were co-writers of a recent competitive assessment grant from the U.S. Department of Education ($3,998,938). The grant was awarded to the Minnesota Department of Education in collaboration with WIDA, a 41-state English language proficiency assessment consortium housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Texas Education Agency. The grant will be used to revise the Alternate ACCESS, an English language proficiency assessment for English learners who have the most significant cognitive disabilities. Laurene Christensen will serve as the co-principal investigator and project director. James Mitchell will be an assistant researcher on the project.

About WIDA: The WIDA Consortium is made up of 41 U.S. states, territories and federal agencies dedicated to the research, design and implementation of a high-quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate system to support English language learners in K-12 contexts. This comprehensive system, based on research and educator feedback, is built on standards, assessments and professional learning. WIDA’s assessments include the WIDA Screener (for English learner identification), ACCESS for ELLs (a K-12 annual summative assessment), and Alternate ACCESS (an annual summative assessment for English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities).