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Home Language Survey Data Quality Self-Assessment

By Susan F. Henry, Daniel Mello, Maria-Paz Avery, Caroline Parker, Erin Stafford


Most state departments of education across the U.S. recommend or require that school districts use a home language survey as the first step in identifying students who qualify for English learner student services.

Many parents and educators have concerns that existing home language surveys might not reveal accurate information about students’ language skills or exposure to English language and literacy. This can result in the misidentification of English learner students.

This report is designed to help state departments of education and school districts improve the quality of data collected through home language surveys and more accurately identify English learner students.

The report presents the Home Language Survey Data Quality Self-Assessment, a 15-minute self-assessment for school districts based on a data quality framework organized into four areas:

  • Purposes, policies, and guidelines
  • Data collection practices
  • Personnel support
  • Data management

Readers will find instructions on how to administer the self-assessment and strategies on how to engage stakeholders —  including state departments of education, district English learner program coordinators, school English learner specialists, parents, student enrollment/registration staff, and data managers — in analyzing and interpreting its results.

Reflecting on the results at both the state and district levels can inform decisions that could contribute to more accurate data on English learner students and more accurate resource allocations for districts.

The report was developed by the English Language Learners Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands.


Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2017
Format: PDF
Pages: 46
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences