English-language-learner education policies nationwide remain “disjointed and inaccessible to local education officials, teachers, and education advocates” more than four years after the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act,.
Researchers gauged ESSA plans for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, analyzing policies that affect students’ English-language-acquisition journey, their academic achievement as a student subgroup, and their inclusion in state accountability systems. It found disparate state timelines for English-learners’ progress and dozens of state plans that do little to hold schools responsible for the performance of their English-learners.
“In terms of academic achievement, more often than not, long-term goals [for ELLs] were purely symbolic because they rarely played a meaningful role in accountability systems,” the report concludes.
A version of this article appeared in the February 26, 2020 edition of Education Week as Some States’ Goals for English-Learners ‘Purely Symbolic’