Policy and Accountability Requirements: Survey for Reflection and Action

This language policy survey is an excerpt from English Language Learners at School: A Guide for Administrators, 2nd Edition (Caslon, 2012). The survey is intended to help schools/districts identify policies and procedures for ELLs that are in place, as well as the strengths and limitations of what already exists. In addition, the survey concludes with an opportunity for reflection about future possibilities and action items.

This survey is also available as a PDF.

Read the following statements to guide your survey of the policies and procedures for ELLs that are in place in your school/district. Indicate the extent to which each of the following applies to your school:

DK — don't know
1 — strongly disagree
2 — disagree
3 — agree
4 — strongly agree

The school district/school has a language policy for ELLs and an implementation
plan that includes the following:

A mission statement that:

  1. aligns the district's/school's policies, programs, and practices with all local, state, and Federal mandates
  2. clearly articulates the district's/school's stance on languages other than English.

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures ensuring that ELLs have access to all programs and services that are available to all students, and that ELLs' needs are considered in all aspects of district/school programming (e.g., curriculum, instruction, assessments, promotion and retention, special needs services).

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures governing the uses of languages in the school system, including issues of:

  • language choice
  • translators and interpreters
  • languages of tests.

DK 1 2 3 4

Defining criteria of the type(s) of program(s) that is/are implemented in the district/school, such as:

  • sheltered content-area instruction (SI)
  • specially designed academic
  • instruction in English (SDAIE)
  • English-as-a-second-language (ESL)
  • English language development (ELD) bilingual education (transitional bilingual education, dual language education),
  • heritage language programs

 

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures that enable the identification of students who are eligible for ESL/bilingual/heritage language services.

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures for the allocation of languages for instructional purposes at every grade level (i.e., how much English as well as instruction in the primary/partner language is included at different stages of language proficiency in each type of program).

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures governing the assessment and placement of ELLs in appropriate program(s).

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures for the recruitment, retention, and professional development of all teachers, administrators, and staff who
work with ELLs.

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures governing all aspects of program implementation from placement to proficiency, including: testing accommodations

  • exit criteria based on multiple measures
  • promotion and graduation requirements
  • ways to address ELLs' special needs.

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures governing the collection, analysis, and use of standardized and alternative assessment data on English language development.

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures governing the collection, analysis, and use of standardized and alternative assessment data on home language development (when home language development is a goal of the program).

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures governing the collection, analysis, and use of standardized and alternative assessment data on the academic achievement of ELLs in the language(s) used for instructional purposes.

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures for informing parents of all aspects of program development, implementation, and evaluation.

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures for the ways that summative and formative data are used to inform instruction, program, and professional development and to determine the effectiveness of different types of programs for ELLs.

DK 1 23 4

Procedures for articulating with community-based organizations and institutions of higher learning to support all aspects of program development, implementation, and evaluation.

DK 1 23 4

Procedures governing program monitoring and evaluation.

 

DK 1 2 34

Procedures governing how components of the language policy and implementation plan are reviewed and revised on a regular basis.

DK 1 2 3 4

Procedures for how individual schools and the school district overall can obtain the resources they need to make implementation of the language policy a reality.

DK 1 2 3 4

Reflection

Now that you have completed the survey, write down one to three strengths and future possibilities you identified through your review of your policies and procedures for ELLs. Then identify one to three concrete actions that you can take to improve those policies and procedures.

Strengths of our school district/school policies and procedures

1.___________________________________________________
2.___________________________________________________
3.___________________________________________________

Future Possibilities

1.___________________________________________________
2.___________________________________________________
3.___________________________________________________

Action steps

1.___________________________________________________
2.___________________________________________________
3.___________________________________________________

Acknowledgements

Our policy section is made possible by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation. The statements and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors.

Citations

Hamayan, E. and Freeman Field, R. (2012). English Language Learners at School: A Guide for Administrators, 2nd Edition. Excerpt from Chapter 3, "Policies and Accountability Requirements for English Language Learners." (pp. 90-96). ©Caslon Publishing. Used with permission, all rights reserved.

Reprints

For any reprint requests, please contact the author or publisher listed.

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