Title III Evaluation

Teacher reading to childTitle III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides funds to states and districts to support ELL students’ successful attainment of English language proficiency and state academic standards. The four-year project, funded through the U.S. Education Department’s Policy and Program Studies Service and led by a team of experts from AIR, evaluated Part A of the Title III Program, which provides federal grants to assist states and local governments in addressing the needs of limited English proficient children and immigrant youth.

The Title III evaluation had four main objectives:

1) To describe the progress in implementation of Title III provisions and variation in implementation across states;
2) To examine how localities are implementing their programs for ELL students and how these relate to state policies and contexts;
3) To determine how ELL students are faring in the development of their English language proficiency and mastery of academic content; and
4) To maintain a focus on the diversity among LEP students and the educational implications of this diversity.

Report on State and Local Implementation (May 2012)

This report, prepared by AIR for the U.S. Department of Education, provides a picture of how states, districts, and schools were implementing Title III provisions that help English Learners (ELs) meet content standards as of the 2009–10 school year. Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides funds to states and districts to support EL students’ successful attainment of English language proficiency and state academic standards.

The study found that states and school districts vary widely in how they define ELs and how they set thresholds for achieving proficiency in English. As a result, a student identified as an EL in one district might lose that status by moving into another district in the same state. Data was collected through interviews with Title III officials from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, a nationally representative survey of Title III district administrators, and case studies of 12 Title III districts.

Additionally, the report presents findings that address research questions covering the following areas of interest:

  • Identification and exit of students into and out of the EL subgroup;
  • Instructional programming and placement of EL students;
  • State ELP standards and assessments;
  • Development and implementation of Title III accountability; and
  • State and district capacity to promote EL language acquisition and achievement.

Report and Appendix/Supplement

Evaluation Briefs (May 2010)

Title III Policy: State of the States (PDF)

This brief focuses on state implementation of Title III, describing the title’s main provisions, summarizing state actions to date to implement those provisions, and outlining key benefits and challenges that have emerged. The brief draws on data collected as part of the Study of State Implementation of No Child Left Behind from 2004 through 2007 and on phone interviews with six state Title III directors and six university-based researchers conducted as part of the current study in the spring of 2009.

Title III Accountability: Behind the Numbers (PDF)

Complexities in the way Title III performance information is calculated—and in the EL population itself—demand a careful look into the meaning behind the numbers. This brief explores some of those complexities while presenting the most recent data available on the nation’s school-age EL population and on states’ and districts’ Title III accountability performance. The brief summarizes state-reported data for all states from Consolidated State Performance Reports and other sources from 2002-03 through 2007-08.

Title III Accountability and District Improvement Efforts: A Closer Look (PDF)

The purpose of this brief is to build a deeper understanding of the supports states provide to districts and the strategies districts are undertaking to improve educational outcomes for ELs and to suggest emerging issues for further investigation and policy response. The brief summarizes findings from spring 2009 interviews with six state Title III directors and nine district-level Title III directors whose districts did not meet their Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives for two to four consecutive years.