Strengthening Policies and Practices for the Initial Classification of English Learners: Insights from a National Working Session
From the introduction: “This report summarizes and further develops ideas discussed at a national working session held on May 23, 2014 to examine issues and options associated with initially classifying English learners (ELs).1 It is the third in a series of guidance papers intended to support states in large scale assessment consortia that are expected to move toward a common definition of English learner as part of their assessment grant requirements. Linquanti & Cook (2013) provide a framework for this undertaking, delineated in four stages: 1) identifying potential ELs; 2) establishing initial EL classification; 3) defining an “English proficient” performance standard; and 4) reclassifying ELs. This report focuses specifically on Stage 2, establishing initial English learner classification.”
This paper provides excellent guidance for a rigorous initial classification process to confirm (or disconfirm) EL status of potential ELs. It also shares recommendations for strengthening EL classification policies, practices, and tools.