Strengthening Policies and Practices for the Initial Classification of English Learners: Insights From a National Working Session

By H. Gary Cook, Robert Linquanti

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Description

Misclassifying students as English language learners (ELLs) who are in fact English fluent, or vice versa, could lead to long-term negative academic outcomes.

This report examines issues in current state policies and practices associated with initially classifying ELLs. It then provides guidelines for initial ELL classification; strategies to address ELL misclassification; and approaches to support comparability of initial ELL classification criteria and procedures both within and across states and consortia.

The report, cowritten by WestEd’s Robert Linquanti, is the third in a series of guidance papers intended to support states in large-scale assessment consortia that are expected to move toward more common policies and processes for defining English language learners as part of their assessment grant requirements.

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