Secretary Spellings Announces Final Limited English Proficiency Regulations
Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings announced final regulations for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students.
The new Title I Regulation is intended to help recently arrived Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students learn English and other subjects while giving states and local school districts greater flexibility on assessment while continuing to hold them accountable under No Child Left Behind.
"Our schools must be prepared to measure what English language learners know and to teach them effectively, with proven instructional methods," said Secretary Spellings. "No Child Left Behind has put the needs of English Language Learners front and center and we must continue that momentum of success. These regulations will ensure states and schools are held accountable for helping children learn English but will also provide them with flexibility in meeting the goal of every child reading and doing math at grade level by 2014."
The final regulations reflect the following major policies:
- Define a recently arrived LEP student as an LEP student who has attended schools in the United States for less than 12 months.
- Permit a State to exempt recently arrived LEP students from one administration of the State's reading/language arts assessment.
- Require a State to include recently arrived LEP students in State mathematics assessments, and beginning in 2007-2008, State science assessments. Recently arrived LEP students must take the State's mathematics assessment, with accommodations as necessary, but States are not required to include the results in AYP determinations.
- Permit a State to not count in AYP determinations the scores of recently arrived LEP students on State mathematics and/or reading/language arts (if taken) assessments.
- Require States that exempt recently arrived LEP students from the reading/language arts assessment to publicly report the number of students exempted for this reason.
- Make clear that Local Educational Agencies (LEA) are still responsible for providing appropriate instruction to recently arrived LEP students.
- Permit a State to include "former LEP" students within the LEP category in making AYP determinations for up to two years after they no longer meet the State's definition for limited English proficient.
- Clarify reporting requirements concerning former LEP students on report cards.
The Department of Education also is preparing a series of reports, by leading education researcher David Francis, focused on supporting the academic achievement of English Language Learners (ELLs). The three reports will provide guidance to practitioners for successful teaching methods and appropriate accommodations for assessment inclusion for ELL students.
For more information please visit http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/lepfactsheet.html or http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2006-3/091306a.html.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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