State, District, and School Support for English Learners
The Center for English Learners (ELs) at AIR works with states, districts, and schools to collect information about current policies and practices for ELs, evaluate those policies and practices, and formulate plans of action to make improvements in the education of ELs.
Center staff looks closely at language and academic performance data together with information collected from relevant district documents, classroom observations, staff interviews, and surveys. After collecting and analyzing this information, AIR EL experts provide an evaluation report with a detailed account of findings reflective of both what is working and what is not working to help ELs succeed. Staff also assists in explaining the results of the findings with wider groups of stakeholders in communities, and helps devise action plans, together with staff and stakeholders, for improved educational outcomes for ELs.
The following is a sample description of a series of steps that the Center for ELs at AIR will take in working with districts and schools to evaluate current policies and practices for English language learners, and to develop action plans to make improvements. AIR staff will work together with district and school staff every step of the way to ensure that the collection and reporting of information is done in a way that reflects the unique needs of the district or school.
Step 1 - The district or school provides advance information to Center staff for review. This may include, but not be limited to: English language and academic performance data, program descriptions, current policy documents, and previous evaluations.
Step 2 - AIR staff visit the district to conduct interviews and focus groups with key leadership and school staff, and to conduct classroom observations of instructional practices for ELs.
Step 3 - AIR staff develop on-line surveys for teachers on the front lines of instruction to ELs to collect additional, pertinent information to inform the evaluation.
Step 4 – AIR produces a draft preliminary evaluation report which the district or school reviews for accuracy and clarity.
Step 5 – Based on feedback from the district or school, AIR finalizes the report.
Step 6 - Staff assist the district or school in presenting the findings to teachers, parents, and other stakeholders and are available to facilitate the development of an action plan, ensuring that the local staff have a clear and dominant voice in the development of such plans.