Push Is On for Common Ways to Identify ELLs
The many ways of identifying which students are English-learners and when they reach proficiency in the language could meld into a more uniform process as a result of the move to common standards and assessments, a profound shift that could drive changes in instruction and provision of resources, experts say.
As two big groups of states work to design shared assessments for the new standards, they are laboring to establish shared definitions of what it means to be an English-language learner and when those students no longer need language instruction. That would represent a massive change from current practice, which finds districts and states using unique definitions for ELLs and widely varying criteria for reclassifying them as fluent.
Getting states to agree on such a complex and often politicized issue will require a deliberate, multiyear process, state policy officials...
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