Who we are & our history

Mission

WIDA advances academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional development for educators.

Vision

To be the most trusted resource in the education of PreKindergarten through Grade 12 language learners.

Values

WIDA's Can Do Philosophy: believing in the assets, contributions, and potential of linguistically diverse students

Collaboration: facilitating interaction among educators, state and local educational agencies, researchers, policy-makers, and experts worldwide

Innovation: drawing from research and practice to find the best solutions for students and educators

Service: exceeding expectations with friendly and knowledgeable support of our customers and stakeholders

WIDA History

  Milestone Events   By the Numbers
2001 No Child Left Behind Act, Title III brings English language learners into the spotlight  
2002 WIDA grant proposal submitted
2003

WIDA is born after an Enhanced Assessment Grant was awarded to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, WIDA's first home

The Center for Applied Linguistics is named in the grant as WIDA's test development partner

2004

WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards completed

First Standards-Based Test Item Writing course offered

2004

Initial ACCESS for ELLs field test of Listening, Reading, and Writing administered in IL, WI, AR, RI, DC, DE, ME, and VT to 6,662 students

Initial ACCESS for ELLs field test of Speaking administered in WI and DC to 523 students

Initial Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs field test administered in the DC to 154 students

2005

W-APT first administered for identification and placement of ELL students

2005

Spring - ACCESS for ELLs administered in AL, ME, and VT to 18,000 students

2005-2006
ACCESS for ELLs administered in 12 states to 369,386 students

25 professional development workshops delivered

2006

WIDA moved to new home at Wisconsin Center for Education Research

2006

2006-2007
ACCESS for ELLs administered in 15 states to 464,547 students

38 professional development workshops delivered

2007

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs grant received to develop an ELP assessment for students with significant disabilities

ONPAR grant received to develop content area assessments for students with beginning to intermediate levels of language proficiency

WIDA ELP Standards to ACCESS for ELLs Assessment Alignment Study Report published

CLIMBS graduate course piloted supporting teacher collaboration in integrating content and language standards

LADDER for ELLs grant received to build the capacity of ELL leadership teams to systematically use data for improving programming and instruction

First professional development academy held

WIDA ELP Standards and Resource Guide, 2007 Edition published

2007

2007-2008
ACCESS for ELLs administered in 16 states to 488,836 students

74 professional development workshops, two academies, and one institute delivered

2008

Partnered with Center for Applied Linguistics to host first conference booth

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs grant received to develop performance-based and portfolio-based assessments

FLARE grant received to develop a formative assessment system for ELLs at the secondary level

WIDA ELL Can Do Booklets published for each grade-level cluster

New format of Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs and WIDA MODEL for Kindergarten assessment released

ACCESS for ELLs Sample Items (Grades 1-12) published

2008

2008-2009
ACCESS for ELLs administered in 19 states to 684,785 students

110 professional development workshops, two academies, and one institute delivered

2009

First WIDA Focus Bulletin published

Research team kicked off Data Warehouse initiative

2009

2009-2010
ACCESS for ELLs administered in 22 states to 781,126 students

124 professional development workshops, two academies, and three institutes delivered

2010

PRIME Correlation program introduced to analyze instructional materials' relationship to the WIDA ELP Standards

WIDA MODEL for Grades 1-2 and 3-5 assessments released

First Professional Certification Institute held for ACCESS for ELLs and WIDA ELP Standards trainers

The Madison Academic Language Working Group formed as a result of summit hosted by WIDA and WestEd

SALSA grant received to develop Spanish Language Development Standards for Kindergarten-Grade 12 and a Spanish language proficiency assessment for grades K-2

2010

2010-2011
ACCESS for ELLs administered in 23 states to 824,919 students

131 professional development workshops, two academies, and three institutes delivered

2011

University of Oklahoma E-TEAM published WIDA ELP Standards to Common Core State Standards alignment report

WIDA MODEL for Grades 6-8 and 9-12 assessments released

ASSETS grant received to build a comprehensive and balanced technology-based assessment system for English language learners

WIDA blog created

2011

2011-2012
ACCESS for ELLs administered in 27 states to 975,441 students

148 professional development workshops, two academies, two institutes, and four regional conferences delivered

2012

Grant received to co-host with WestEd a research conference on the sociocultural contexts of academic literacy development in adolescent ELLs

Winners of WIDA Video Contest announced

2012 Amplification of the WIDA ELD Standards published

2012 Debut of the amplified ELD Standards conferences held in Madison, Denver, Charlotte, and Boston

2012

2012-2013
Info coming soon

2013

Online lesson plan share space launched

Response to Instruction & Intervention (RtI2) for ELLs guide released

Featured Educators honored monthly on WIDA website for their work in the field of ELL education

2013 WIDA National Conference held in Milwaukee and had over 600 educators in attendance

2013