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Here’s a seemingly simple question: Why did ESSA extend the monitoring period for former ELLs to four years?
One of the more interesting accountability changes in the new ESSA legislation has to do with the requirement that districts now must monitor former ELLs for four years instead of two. We were pleased to hear this at Ellevation, given our focus on supporting digital monitoring processes for school districts, and we aren’t alone. The Council of Great City Schools praised the change, and Dr. Wayne Wright’s recent webinar compliments the adjustment as well. But I couldn’t help wondering why the change was implemented in the first place. What were lawmakers thinking?
I considered three potential reasons why Congress would extend the monitoring period:
I think the answer might lie in the spirit of ESSA, which devolves much of the accountability planning to states. By bolstering the Monitoring requirement, the federal legislation has the effect of creating a more robust student sub-group that some states may now want to include in measures of accountability.
Will SEAs allow the academic performance of former ELLs to be a part of LEA performance evaluations? Sounds like a good idea to me. After all, if the purpose of an ELL program is to help students acquire the language needed to succeed academically, why shouldn’t LEAs be recognized when those former ELL students excel? Our friend David Deschryver has even suggested that the performance of former ELLs might merit a Title III award from the State--a new “carrot” to motivate district performance.
Click below to learn how Ellevation can help you support new ESSA requirements.
View the discussion thread.