English learners (ELs) constitute one of the fastest growing K-12 public school student populations in the United States. Over the past 12 years, the EL population has grown by two-thirds to over 5 million students, and in several states, particularly in the Southeast and Midwest, it has grown by several hundred percent (NCELA, 2010). The broader category of language minority students (ages 5-17)those from homes where a language other than or in addition to English is spokennow totals nearly 12 million (Migration Policy Institute [MPI], 2011). This population is expected to grow to almost half the total U.S. K-12 public school population by the middle of this century. This chapter lays out a framework of fundamental considerations with respect to English learners in order to foster greater understanding of their strengths and needs; examines the opportunities and risks for improving EL instruction and learning in the current context of next-generation standards and assessments, as well as of ESEA flexibility and Race to the Top Program requirements; and provides examples of innovative SEA practices for supporting local district and school improvement. The chapter concludes by providing key principles for SEA action with respect to this population in turnaround schools.
State and Local Policy
Federal Programs and Grants