ESSA │English Language Learners (ELLs)
While English learners (ELs) come to school with the benefit of speaking a language other than English, they face the challenge of acquiring content knowledge in English at the same time as they acquire English as an additional language. They are held to the same graduation requirements and accountability standards as their English-proficient peers.
Under ESSA, states continue to address the identification, assessment, and accountability provisions related to ELs but with more flexibility and by using standardized statewide entrance and exit procedures. Some states may now use the ESSA flexibility provisions and opt for more meaningful inclusion of recently arrived ELs within their accountability system. States can also include ELs who have exited language programs in their accountability system for up to four years. These options are notably different from NCLB provisions related to ELs.
The experts at AIR support ELs by conducting rigorous research and evaluation to improve instruction and learning, evaluating policy to inform decisionmaking, and creating resources and providing hands-on support designed to enhance EL practice at the district, school, and classroom level.