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Programs for English Language Learners - Intro: Program Evaluation

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The following information is provided to assist districts in identifying methods and approaches for evaluating their programs. Districts are encouraged to review the literature on this topic and to develop approaches to evaluating their ELL programs consistent with their respective program designs and individual needs and circumstances.

Because federal law does not prescribe a particular program model or evaluation approach, the approach to—and design of—an effective ELL program evaluation will vary from district to district. The evaluation components set forth below are provided as examples for districts to consider in developing their own approach.


Districts are required to modify their programs if they prove to be unsuccessful after a legitimate trial. As a practical matter, recipients cannot comply with this requirement without periodically evaluating their programs.

Generally, districts measure "success" in terms of whether the program is achieving the particular goals the district has established for the program and its students. If the district has established no particular goals, the program is successful if its participants are achieving proficiency in English and are able to participate meaningfully in the district's program.

Source: 1991 OCR Memorandum


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

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.