Decentralization, teacher quality, and the education of English learners: Do state education agencies effectively prepare teachers of Els?

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Abstract

English learners are entitled to participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes provisions to ensure success for all students, including English learners. However, the federal government does not prescribe specifically how states should meet these provisions; instead, it is the responsibility of states to develop respective plans of action. This decentralization means that states play a primary role in setting policy for teacher credentialing. In this paper, we address the following question: Do state education agencies effectively prepare teachers of ELs? We reviewed the teacher credentialing requirements to teach classified English learners in bilingual education, English language development, and sheltered English immersion settings, as well as the professional teaching standards for reference to culturally and linguistically diverse learners across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. We found inconsistencies across the US with regard to the education of classified English learners and document wide variation in teacher certification for working with English learners. We highlight implications for policy and teacher preparation.

 

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How to Cite
Leider, C. M., Colombo, M., & Nerlino, E. (2021). Decentralization, teacher quality, and the education of English learners: Do state education agencies effectively prepare teachers of Els?. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 100. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.29.5279
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Author Biographies

Christine Montecillo Leider, Boston University

Christine Montecillo Leider is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Language Education and Program Director of Bilingual Education and TESOL-Licensure at the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University.

Michaela Colombo, University of Massachusetts - Lowell

Michaela Colombo is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Erin Nerlino, Boston University

Erin Nerlino is a Doctoral Student in Curriculum & Teaching at the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University.