Defining an English-Language Learner: Can States Agree?

Who is an English-language learner?

Across 50 states and tens of thousands of school districts, answers to that fundamental question can be quite different.

But with the Common Core State Standards widely adopted, and common assessments under development to test those new standards, states are reaching a point where perhaps they can start to wrestle with the task of reaching consensus around shared definitions of what it means to be an ELL, and when those students no longer need language instruction. The U.S. Department of Education is certainly pushing them to do so.


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