The Federal Role in Education: Considerations for ESEA Reauthorization

Reading List: English Learners in ESEA


Taylor, J., Stecher, B., O’Day, J., Naftel, S., & LeFloch, K. (2010). State and local implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act: Volume IX – accountability under NCLB (Chapter 5). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service. Available at

The authors highlight key findings regarding state progress in implementing English language proficiency (ELP) standards, assessments, and technical assistance, as well as Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) targets. (AMAO’s are annual English language proficiency targets established under NCLB.) The chapter describes the education challenges states, schools and students face in growing and diverse English language learner (ELL) populations, such as teaching ELLs in schools with extreme linguistic diversity. Finally, the chapter summarizes Title III provisions under NCLB and illustrates the differences between Title I and Title III provisions in regards standards, assessments, and measuring progress.

Suggested Changes for ESEA Reauthorization

** Working Group on ELL Policy. (2010 March 8). Recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to improve educational services and outcomes for English language learners (Draft Version). Author. Not available online.

This brief, created by a working group of ELL content experts and researchers, outlines key considerations and recommendations for English language learners (ELLs) in ESEA. The brief describes current practices in ELL student identification, instruction, assessment, accountability and systems capacity. The Working Group argues that current ELL subgroup definitions and content assessments lead to faulty data and weaken accountability; the current accountability system does not provide clear information on ELL achievement and does not sufficiently foster adequate development of multilingual resources; and inadequate capacity and professional development for teachers of ELL students limits their effectiveness. The Working Group proposes specific recommendations for improving ESEA in each of these areas and for reinvigorating the Office of English Language Acquisition in the U.S. Department of Education.

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. (2010 February 17). Funding and policy priorities for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Washington, DC: Author. Not available online.

This letter to President Obama and members of Congress, composed by a national, bipartisan education coalition of Latino policymakers from 11 states across the country, provides an overview of existing challenges ELLs encounter under NCLB, including the lack of specific standards for English Language Development, and then propose solutions the federal government can enact to help solve each challenge. These recommendations explore problems and solutions regarding funding, common core standards, teachers and leaders, assessments, and accountability.

**This document is considered a priority reading.