Department of Education interprets rules for Title III accountability for limited English proficient students
The Department of Education (ED) has proposed interpretations of certain provisions of Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) relating to the English language proficiency assessments for limited English proficient (LEP) students, Title III annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAOs) for such students, and Title III accountability provisions. Among other interpretations, ED would specify to states that (1) all LEP students must be assessed annually on each and every one of the language domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, even if the student previously has tested proficient in one or more of these; (2) that states may set targets for progress in learning English based on some but not all of these four language domains and the fifth domain of comprehension; (3) that state standards for having achieved proficiency, as opposed to progress, must be based on all five domains; (4) that all LEP students served by Title III must be included in all AMAOs; (5) that states and school districts no longer may exclude LEP students from certain AMAO calculations because the students do not yet have two consecutive annual assessment scores, but that a state may propose an alternative method, subject to ED approval, for these calculations; (6) that a student considered ‘‘proficient’’ in English for Title III purposes also must be prepared to exit the LEP student subgroup based on the state’s definition of LEP and criteria for determining when a LEP student is no longer in need of a language instruction program; (7) that states may adopt minimum student subgroup sizes for purposes of AMAO calculations; (8) that states must include all LEP students who are counted in the LEP subgroup for adequate yearly progress (AYP) generally in the AMAO calculation of AYP for Title III purposes as well, instead of counting only students served by Title III; (9) that states may, under certain conditions and for some AMAO purposes, define different ‘‘cohorts’’ of LEP students based on the amount of time the students have had access to language instruction programs. Comments are due June 2, 2008.
73 Fed. Reg. 24,267 (May 2, 2008)
ED proposed interpretations