RPM's Take on the English Language Learner (ELL) Provisions of Blueprint for Reform

Last Updated: March 26, 2010

This article appeared in the March 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

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States must develop and adopt statewide English language proficiency standards for ELL students, aligned so that they reflect the academic language necessary to master the state’s college and career ready content standards. Grantees may provide dual-language, transitional bilingual, sheltered English immersion, newcomer programs for late-entrants, or other language instruction programs. States will be required to establish new criteria to ensure consistent statewide identification of ELL students and to determine eligibility, placement, and duration of programs and services. States must also implement a system to evaluate the effectiveness of language instruction education programs and provide information on achievement of subgroups of ELL students. Districts that do not improve ELL performance will lose flexibility in the use of funds.

Comment: Many rural districts serving ELL students have no history of serving English Language Learners or providing English language instruction. These districts need start-up support and funding.

Read more from the March 2010 Rural Policy Matters.