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Accountability for English Language Learners (ELLs) FAQs

This section provides information related to accountability requirements for supporting English learners (ELs) during the transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). For additional information and updates see the ESEA Home Page. The information below is taken from the U.S. Department of Education’s Transitioning to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Frequently Asked Questions and from the Council of Chief State School Officers Major Provisions of Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) Related to the Education of English Learners.

 
Q.

Must a state make new AMAO determinations based on 2014-15 or 2015-16 assessment results?

A.

No. The U.S. Department of Education is not requiring states to comply with the requirements in section 3122(a) of the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). A state is not required to make new accountability determinations based on 2014-15 or 2015-16 assessment data (as appropriate). A state that chooses not to make new AMAO accountability determinations may freeze district accountability determinations under Title III based on the most recent AMAO calculations, and must continue to implement corresponding supports and interventions in those districts for the remaining months of the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.

Q

What are the requirements for districts in the 2016-17 school year that did not meet AMAOs for at least two or four years based on the most recent State AMAO determinations?

A.

A district that was implementing an improvement plan in the 2015-16 school year or other interventions or reforms pursuant to section 3122(b)(4) of the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, must continue to implement the improvement plan or other interventions and reforms in the 2016-17 school year, and the state must continue to provide technical assistance and support to such district.

Q.

Must a district that does not meet one or more of its AMAOs based on assessment results from the 2014-15, 2015-16, or 2016-17 school year, or that would not meet its AMAOs if the state made AMAO determinations, provide notice to parents of such failure in accordance with section 3302(b) of the ESEA, as amended by NCLB?

A.

No. Because the U.S. Department of Education is not requiring the calculation of AMAOs based on assessment results from 2014-15, 2015-16, or 2016-17 school years, districts are not required to comply with the parental notification requirement that each district that misses one or more of the AMAOs provide notice to parents.

Please note, however, that districts must still comply with the parental notification requirements in section 3302(a) of the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, through the 2016-17 school year, which requires that districts provide parental notification regarding students who are identified as English learners within 30 days of the start of the school year (or, for students identified later in the school year, within two weeks) that includes, for example, the reason for identification, parents’ rights, and other important information.

Q.

How might the definition of the English learner (EL) subgroup change for Title I accountability?

A.

States may include assessment results for a student within the results of the EL subgroup for not more than four years after the student ceases to be identified as an EL. This is an expansion of what Title I allowed under NCLB, which limited the inclusion of a former EL student’s assessments results within the results of the EL subgroup to up to two years after the student ceased to be identified as an EL.

Q.

How might English language proficiency goals be included in Title I accountability?

A.

States are required to include in their accountability systems long-term goals and interim measures of progress for increases in the percentage of ELs making progress in achieving English proficiency, as defined by the State and as measured on the State’s English language proficiency assessments, within a state-determined timeline. The State must also include an indicator of the extent to which all ELs in the state are making progress in achieving English language proficiency. Progress toward proficiency would be determined in each of grades 3-8 and in the school grade in which the state administers its assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics. The English language proficiency data for an EL in high school must be measured against the student’s results from the previous year.

In contrast, NCLB did not require inclusion of an English language proficiency indicator as part of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) under Title I. Instead, Title III had its own accountability requirements under which states held districts accountable for meeting three Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs), one of which was annual increases in the number of percentage of ELs making progress in learning English.

Q.

How might the process of identifying and exiting English learners change under ESSA?

A.

ESSA adds a new requirement in Title III that states establish and implement, after consultation with districts representing the geographic diversity of the state, standardized EL entrance and exit procedures. These procedures must include the requirement that all students who might be ELs must be assessed for that status within 30 days of enrollment in a school within the state.

 

 

 

For questions about this information, contact osamail@dpi.wi.gov