U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans - Link to ED.gov Home Page

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Programs for English Language Learners

Title Page
Table of Contents
   About MaterialsAbout Materials
   Legal BackgroundLegal Background
      First PrincipleFirst Principle
      Second PrincipleSecond Principle
      Third PrincipleThird Principle
Developing a Program
Program Evaluation
Other Resources
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Third Principle:
Program Evaluation

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Under federal law, adopting an ELL program with a sound education design is not sufficient if the program as implemented proves ineffective. As a result, a central element of satisfying Title VI requirements regarding services for ELL students is an ongoing evaluation of a district's ELL program.

  • Is the program working?

  • Are ELL students gaining the proficiency in English that will enable them to participate meaningfully in the district's education program?
Part III of these materials identifies illustrative approaches and various considerations to assist districts in designing their own approach to ELL program self-evaluation.

If a program is not working effectively, a school district is responsible for making appropriate program adjustments or changes. This requirement is based on the obligation arising from Title VI for a school district to provide ELL students with meaningful opportunities to participate in its educational program.

In addition to satisfying legal obligations, ELL program self-evaluations can produce benefits to the district and its stakeholders.

Examples of benefits resulting from program self-evaluations that have been reported to OCR from various school districts and other stakeholders include:

  • Increased stakeholder participation and support. Utilization of available knowledge and expertise as program changes are developed (e.g., teachers, counselors, administrators, parental input, students, and various experts).

  • Assistance to staff in planning districtwide and site-based program improvements.

  • Concentration of resources on those priorities identified for all students and increased program alignment with the district's overall academic goals.

  • Maintained or increased accountability for meeting program goals and student outcomes at all levels of the program. Increasing the use of best practices in the classroom.

  • Contributions to the current and future success of ELL students in the greater community.

  • Establishment of concrete information and examples of successful program strategies and areas where the program is achieving goals and objectives (e.g., promoting positive community relations).

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