Analyzing Policy and Related Work for English Learners │ Center for ELs

AIR recently reviewed the approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility plans to identify policies and practices relevant to English Learners (ELs), provided considerations based on our knowledge of research for the implementation of proposed reforms and described exemplary state and district practices.

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)

Synergy Enterprises, Inc. contracted with staff from the Center for ELs at AIR to provide content expertise and support as subcontractors on the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA). Center staff will be supporting NCELA with such tasks as policy briefs and literature reviews focused on EL issues.

Quality of English Language Proficiency Assessments

AIR developed a framework for evaluating state and local implementation of Title III assessment and accountability provisions. The core product of this study, contracted by the U.S. Department of Education, was a technical guide and checklist for state assessment developers and peer reviewers of state English language proficiency (ELP) systems. To support the development of this technical guide, the project team conducted a literature review to summarize the theoretical and research literature related to the characteristics of coherent, valid, reliable, and fair assessment systems that are aligned to ELP standards and accessible to all EL groups. The project team convened an expert panel to contribute to the development of the technical guide and literature review.
- Literature Review Related to Assessment and Accountability Provisions Relevant to English Learners (PDF)

Analysis of the Title III Professional Development Program

On behalf of the Policy and Program Studies Service at the U.S. Department of Education, AIR gathered lessons learned about characteristics of preservice and inservice teacher education courses, and activities intended to improve instruction for ELs, both by reviewing the literature and conducting case studies of National Professional Development Program (NPDP) grantees.

Study of the Title III Native American and Alaska Native Children in School (NAM) Program

The Title III Native American and Alaska Native Children in School (NAM) program provides five-year grants to support language instruction for Native American and Alaska Native (NA/AN) students. This study will examine how grantees have used NAM funds to support NA/AN academic achievement based on case studies in all 22 NAM grant sites in the FY 2011 AND FY 2013 cohorts. The study will describe the activities grantees have implemented with the funds, how grantees measure student progress and outcomes, challenges in providing services through the grant, lessons learned from grantees' experiences, and how stakeholders perceive the services supported by NAM funding.

Review of Extant Data of Dual Language Education Programs: Current Policies and Practices of States

The purpose of this project was to document the current policy landscape surrounding dual language education programs in the United States. Specifically, this study collected information about state policies and practices related to (1) dual language program features and components; (2) students' eligibility for and placement into dual language programs; (3) standards, assessments, and accountability systems used in dual language programs; (4) qualifications and professional development for teachers in dual language programs, and (5) ways in which states are supporting the development and sustainability of dual language programs.

The research team summarized findings in a report designed to inform the work of the U.S. Department of Education and other policymakers in this area. In conducting this review, project staff employed multiple data collection strategies, including (1) a review of relevant research literature published within the last ten years; (2) analyses of extant data, including information from states' Consolidated State Performance Reports from 2012-2013; (3) a review of policy documents collected from the state education agency (SEA) websites of all 50 states and the District of Columbia; and (4) interviews with state education agency officials in six states.