Leveraging ESSA: Policy Opportunities for English Learners in Illinois

The purpose of this resource is to inform English learner (EL) advocates and families to understand the opportunities within the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that can support a comprehensive approach to teaching and learning for ELs. The analysis presented in the resource can also be used as a companion to the Illinois ESSA State Plan Draft, expanding on the section focusing on ELs. The resource gives a snapshot of ELs in Illinois, then describes the major provisions of ESSA and how they may impact the education of ELs (such as in the areas of educator equity, Title II, early childhood education, etc.).

Content Comments 

Although specifically written for the state of Illinois, this resource has broad applications to many states or local education agencies that would like an easy-to-read and relevant overview of ESSA and ELs. The sections that describe the major provisions of ESSA are good summaries for any stakeholder interested in how ESSA impacts EL student's education. Each of the major provisions topics (e.g., student achievement and high school graduation rates) has the following subsections: "What does ESSA say?", "What does this mean for ELs?", and questions to consider. This handy resource can also serve as a model template for other state and local educational agencies interested in providing a resource for their stakeholders interested in supporting EL students.