A major goal of the English Language Learners Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands at EDC is to build the capacity of its members to make research- and evidence-based decisions about programs and services to better meet the diverse needs of English learner (EL) students. Yet shortly after the alliance formed, in 2012, the members confronted the reality that data about ELs is often unreliable, inconsistent, and even inaccurate, severely limiting the analyses that can be done.
At the end of the year, the working group presented its final recommended HLS guidance document to the entire CAPELL membership, which voted to support it. In December 2015, the Connecticut State Department of Education endorsed the guidance and posted it on its website.
When the guidance was published, Megan Alubicki Flick told REL Northeast & Islands:
I so appreciate your hard work on this project, and I think this is a major service to districts, particularly the smaller ones and especially those with increasing English learner populations, and also to the students and their families. I am hopeful that this guidance will increase our consistency both within and across districts in Connecticut.
Maria-Paz Avery is the Research Alliance Manager, State Outreach Manager—leading needs sensing and technical assistance for REL Northeast & Islands—the State Liaison for Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and the Facilitator for the English Language Learners Alliance.