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Principal Surveys to Help Build Better ELL Policy

Guest blog by Sarah D. Sparks of Inside School Research.

Advocates and researchers have launched a new tool to help policymakers better analyze and report the needs of shifting English-learner populations at schools from year to year.

The English Language Learner Program Survey for Principals, created by theĀ  English Language Learners Alliance and the Regional Education Laboratory Northeast & Islands at the Education Development Corp., collects data on how schools serve English learners in an array of areas, including:

  • Whether and how staff montitor ELL-student progress;
  • Teachers' and principals' beliefs about English learners, such as cultural differences or language proficiency and learning disabilities;
  • How English-language teachers are evaluated; and
  • Types of professional development around English learners that principals have taken or would like to have.

"Providing quality education for English language learners is a priority that needs to be addressed in a growing number of schools and districts. Educational leaders, in particular, should be equipped to provide instructional leadership based on evidence-based practices," said Maria-Paz Avery, a facilitator of the English Language Learners Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands, in a statement on the new tool. "This survey serves as a tool to gather more information from school leaders regarding focused professional development to effectively direct ELL program design and outcomes."

The survey is expected to take 15-20 minutes for principals.

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