FR Doc E7-10919
[Federal Register: June 6, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 108)]
[Page 31300-31302]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
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A Framework for Developing High-Quality English Language 
Proficiency Standards and Assessments

AGENCY: Office of the Deputy Secretary, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of public meetings and request for recommendations on a 
framework for developing high-quality English language proficiency 
standards and assessments (Framework).


SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education (Secretary) seeks recommendations 
on developing a Framework for States to consider in examining the 
quality of their standards and assessments for English language 
proficiency (ELP) under Title III of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind 
Act of 2001 (NCLB). The Framework, once developed, will be provided to 
States for their use in evaluating their ELP standards and assessments. 
The Framework also will help States identify their technical assistance 
needs related to ELP standards and assessments and, therefore, help the 
U.S. Department of Education (Department) provide States with the 
assistance they need to implement the Title III standards and 
assessment requirements effectively.

DATES: We must receive your recommendations on or before 5 p.m., 
Eastern time, on August 1, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Address all recommendations to the Office of the Deputy 
Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 
7W308, Washington, DC 20202-6132.
    If you prefer to send your recommendations through the Internet, 
use the following e-mail address:
    You must use the term ``Framework for Title III'' in the subject 
line of your electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hanna Skandera. Telephone: (202) 401-
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 



    Addressing the needs of the Nation's more than 4.6 million (and 
growing) population of limited English proficient (LEP) students is 
central to meeting the goals of NCLB. Improving instruction and closing 
the achievement gap for LEP students start with high-quality standards 
and assessments. We must be able to measure what LEP students know and 
do not know, in terms of core subject matter and the acquisition of 
English language skills, in order to address their academic needs. The 
focus on both core subject matter (e.g., reading/language arts, math, 
and science) and the acquisition of English language skills requires 
coordination and collaboration between the Title I and Title III 
programs. Therefore, we invite and encourage recommendations from not 
only technical experts in standards, assessment, and language 
development, but also parents, teachers, administrators, researchers, 
and others with experience and expertise in Title I or Title III 
    Section 3113 of the ESEA requires each State educational agency 
(SEA) to submit a plan to the Secretary describing how the agency will 
establish standards and objectives for raising the level of English 
proficiency that are derived from the four recognized

[[Page 31301]]

domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing, and that are 
aligned with the achievement of the challenging academic content and 
student academic achievement standards for all students that States 
have adopted pursuant to section 1111(b)(1) of Title I of the ESEA. 
Further, under section 1111(b)(7) of Title I, each State plan must 
demonstrate that local educational agencies (LEAs) in the State provide 
an annual assessment of the English proficiency (measuring students' 
oral language, reading, and writing skills in English) of all LEP 
students in their schools. Finally, section 3122(a)(3)(A)(ii) of Title 
III requires that increases in the number or percentage of children 
attaining English proficiency be determined using a valid and reliable 
assessment of English proficiency.
    The Department expects the Framework to be informed by States' 
experiences in developing standards and assessments in the academic 
content areas, as well as their work related to English language 
acquisition. In addition, the Department recognizes that there are 
professional standards for the technical quality of assessments, as 
well as accepted methodologies for developing standards and evaluating 
the alignment of standards with assessments. Such experiences and 
knowledge can, and should, inform the development of ELP standards and 
assessments under Title III. However, in developing their ELP standards 
and assessments, States have raised additional questions, such as on 
the level of English proficiency that is necessary to learn academic 
content; the differences between the skills necessary for speaking 
English and the skills necessary for reading and writing English; and 
the relationship of ELP standards and assessments to the standards and 
assessments developed under Title I. To address these issues and to 
support the States in their work to improve English language 
proficiency and the academic achievement of LEP students, the 
Department initiated the LEP Partnership. The LEP Partnership includes 
States, the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal 
Defense and Educational Fund, the Council of Chief State School 
Officers, the Comprehensive Center on Assessment and Accountability, 
and the National Clearinghouse on English Language Acquisition. For 
more information about the LEP Partnership, please see

    Through the LEP Partnership, the Department has pledged to provide 
technical assistance and support to States on various strategies for 
appropriately assessing LEP students. At the second meeting of the LEP 
Partnership in Washington, DC in October 2006, Department officials 
asked States to identify areas in which they needed technical 
assistance. States agreed that they needed assistance from the 
Department on how they should evaluate their ELP standards and the 
technical quality of their ELP assessments, as well as how they should 
demonstrate the alignment of their ELP standards with their ELP 
assessments. Many States also asked about the statutory language in 
Title III that requires States to demonstrate that their ELP standards 
and assessments are aligned with achievement of their State's 
challenging academic content and achievement standards under Title I, 
and how they should demonstrate this alignment. Some States 
specifically asked whether a single assessment could be used to assess 
a student's English language proficiency and achievement of content in 
reading/language arts.

Invitation To Submit Recommendations

    We invite you to submit recommendations on a Framework for States 
to use in examining their ELP standards and assessments under Title III 
to ensure that they are of high quality and promote effective 
instruction to raise the level of English proficiency and academic 
achievement of LEP students. Specifically, we invite you to submit 
recommendations in response to the following four questions that are 
based on the statutory language in Title III. The Department 
anticipates that, within each of these questions, there will be 
numerous specific and technical issues you will want to address.
    1. What are the critical elements that States should examine to 
ensure that their ELP standards promote effective instruction to raise 
LEP students' level of English proficiency? (Section 3113(b)(2))
    2. What are the critical elements that States should examine to 
ensure that their ELP assessments provide a valid and reliable 
assessment of English language proficiency? (Section 3122(a)(3)(A)(ii))
    3. What are the critical elements that States should examine to 
ensure that their ELP standards are aligned with their ELP assessments? 
(Sections 3113(b)(2) and (3)(D) and 3122(a)(3)(A)(ii)).
    4. What are strategies that States can use to ensure that their ELP 
standards are aligned with the achievement of challenging State 
academic content standards and student academic achievement standards 
they have adopted under Title I? (Section 3113(b)(2)).
    To ensure that your recommendations are considered in the 
development of the Framework, we urge you to identify clearly the 
specific question that each recommendation addresses and to arrange 
your recommendations in the order listed above.
    We encourage you to make your recommendations as specific as 
possible. Please also include, with your recommendations, a description 
of your involvement in LEP issues.
    During and after the period for submitting recommendations, you may 
inspect all recommendations about the Framework at the U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 7W308, Washington, DC, 
between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through 
Friday of each week except Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the 

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the recommendations. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed 

Announcement of Public Meetings

    We also will be holding a series of meetings to seek 
recommendations for developing the Framework. The meetings will occur 
on the following dates at the times and locations indicated:
    Wednesday, June 20, 2007, in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord 
Opryland Resort and Convention Center, 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, 
TN, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    Wednesday, July 18, 2007, in Washington, DC at the Wyndham Hotel, 
1400 M Street, NW., from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
    Thursday, July 26, 2007, in Washington, DC at the Capitol Hilton, 
1001 16th Street, NW., from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
    Each meeting will begin with a roundtable discussion, with experts 
who have been invited by the Department to participate in a discussion, 
focused on the four questions listed above. These experts will be from 
State Departments of Education, LEAs, universities, and non-
governmental organizations and have knowledge and expertise in the 
following areas: Assessment development (both content assessments

[[Page 31302]]

under Title I and language acquisition assessments under Title III); 
standards development; assessment and instruction of LEP students; 
Title III requirements; Title I requirements; and English language 
development. Staff from the Department's comprehensive technical 
assistance centers will facilitate the roundtable discussions.
    During the final 90 minutes of each meeting, we will provide the 
public with an opportunity to comment on the discussion or to provide 
additional recommendations.
    Individuals interested in giving testimony during the public 
session of the meetings to address one or more of the four questions 
will be allowed three to five minutes to make their statements. We 
request that you submit three written copies and an electronic file (CD 
or diskette) of your statement at the meeting. Please include your name 
and contact information on the written and electronic files.
    If you are interested in giving testimony during the public session 
of a meeting, please register at the LEP Partnership Web site,, at least one week before the public meeting. We 
will process registrations on a first-come, first-served basis. Persons 
who are unable to register to present testimony during the meeting are 
encouraged to submit written recommendations. Written recommendations 
will be accepted at the meeting site or via e-mail at the addresses 
listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities at the Public Meetings

    The meeting sites will be accessible to individuals with 
disabilities and sign language interpreters will be available. If you 
need an auxiliary aid or service other than a sign language interpreter 
to participate in the meeting (e.g., interpreting service such as oral, 
cued speech, or tactile interpreter; assisted listening device; or 
materials in alternate format), notify the contact person listed under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT at least two weeks before the scheduled 
meeting date. Although we will attempt to meet a request we receive 
after this date, we may not be able to make available the requested 
auxiliary aid or service because of insufficient time to arrange it.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may review this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site:

    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at:

    Dated: June 1, 2007.
Raymond Simon,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. E7-10919 Filed 6-5-07; 8:45 am]