the school year. The panel selected this measure primarily because it is an inclusive number, pertaining to the total LEP population not just those who have been assessed under provisions of the NCLB. Moreover, this definition is expedient. In the department’s reporting scheme, it is one of the few measures for which there is a comparable historical time series. The measure also relates directly to subordinate measures that have also been consistently collected over time, such as grade level, home language, and language proficiency level. The definition of the data items from the ACS is the same as that used in the GAO report. This definition derives from the responses to the ACS survey question on the number of persons aged 5 to 21 who speak a language other than English at home and report speaking English less than “very well.”

Overview of the Report

In the ensuing chapters, the panel first discusses the desired characteristics of allocation formulas and then assesses the two allowable sources in terms of their relative ability to fulfill those desired characteristics.

Chapter 2 assesses the ACS. It provides a summary of the survey and how the ACS estimates are presently used to make Title III allocations to states. It evaluates the quality of those estimates in terms of sampling properties, precision, sensitivity, coverage, and consistency.

Chapter 3 discusses the ELP assessments used by the states, describes their features, and examines the ways in which they differ. It considers the technical quality of these tests and focuses on the extent to which they are likely to yield valid and comparable decisions across the states.

Chapter 4 focuses on state policies and procedures for initially identifying ELL students, measuring their progress in becoming English proficient, and determining when they are ready to be reclassified as former ELL students (and exited from programs for English as a second language).

Chapter 5 discusses the comparability of the estimates of the ELL population derived from the ACS and the state administrative record counts.

Chapter 6 discusses the comparability of the estimates of the immigrant student population from the ACS and those reported to the states by local education agencies.

The concluding chapter considers possible decision criteria for making the choice between the two allowable data sources, rates the sources by these criteria, and presents the panel’s recommendations.

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