Where’s the Ed Department’s Evaluation of NCLB’s Title III?

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 16, 2007 1 min read
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Back in March, an official from the office of English language acquisition for the U.S. Department of Education told me the department was just about ready to send a two-year evaluation of programs for English-language learners to the U.S. Congress.

It’s now mid-August, and the report has yet to have been released.

The No Child Left Behind Act requires that the U.S. Secretary of Education give an evaluation of programs funded under Title III, Part A, of the act to Congress every two years. (Click here for a description of the evaluation.) Title III is the section of the education law that supports schools to operate programs for ELLs.

Chad Colby, a spokesman for the Education Department, told me in an e-mail last week that the report has been delayed because “there were submission issues for some states.” He added: “The report is currently being prepared and will go through clearance as soon as possible.”

Two years ago, the first two-year evaluation for Title III found that states—and thus schools—were struggling to make adequate yearly progress in math and reading for English-language learners. I wrote in Education Week then that only Alabama and Michigan, for instance, met their AYP goals for both math and reading for ELLs in the 2003-2004 school year. States fared much better, however, in reaching goals for students’ progress in learning English. Twenty-two states, for example, met their goals for ELLs to attain fluency in English during the 2003-04 school year. (See the article about the evaluation here.)

I’ve been persistent in asking the Education Department for the evaluation of the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years because I’m eager to report if it’s gotten easier or harder with time for states to meet their goals for ELLs under NCLB.

The last two-year evaluation was released in March 2005.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.