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ERIC Number: ED535546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug-31
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Using No Child Left Behind Waivers to Improve English Language Learner Education
Chang, Theodora
Center for American Progress
The No Child Left Behind law fundamentally changed the expectations and data that schools should have for their English language learner students. The landmark 1974 Lau v. Nichols Supreme Court case concluded that students who speak English as a second language have a right to a "meaningful education." But No Child Left Behind--a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act--was the first law to hold schools and districts accountable for the achievement of their English language learner students. In September 2011 President Barack Obama announced that his administration would waive certain Elementary and Secondary Education Act requirements in exchange for reforms proposed by states in four principle areas: (1) Meeting college- and career-ready expectations for all students; (2) Creating state-developed differentiated recognition, accountability, and support; (3) Supporting effective leadership and instruction; and (4) Reducing duplication and unnecessary burden. In this column the author considers the significance of improving instruction for English language learners. In addition, she outlines the ways in which the waiver application review process encourages states to address the needs of English language learner students as part of the first and third principles related to college- and career-ready expectations and to leadership and instruction--the issues related to principle 2 are too extensive to delve into in this column and therefore are not discussed at length. Finally, she highlights the state of New York, which submitted a very detailed and thoughtful waiver application with respect to meeting the needs of its English language learners. As part of her review, the author examined all second-round applications to analyze how well they addressed the needs of English language learners related to principles one and three, though she found that most states lacked detailed plans. Thus, she focuses on New York in this paper, which stood out for its comprehensive approach to the issue. (Contains 22 endnotes.
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001