The Common Core State Standards represent an exciting step forward for California and for the nation as a whole in supporting strong instruction that can better prepare students for college and career success. As educators embrace the challenges associated with assessment of the Common Core, it is instructive to learn from the California Learning Assessment System (CLAS) experience in the early 1990s—both to build on its successes and to avoid the mistakes that led to its demise.
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Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides funds to states and districts to support ELL students’ successful attainment of English language proficiency and state academic standards. The U.S. Department of Education commissioned AIR to evaluate the Title III program to determine how well states are implementing its provisions, how state policy translates into district practices, and how well ELLs are mastering grade-level content and improving their English language proficiency.