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National Evaluation of Title III Implementation

Contract Information

Current Status:



September 2019 – September 2024



Contract Number:



American Institutes for Research
Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics


English learners (ELs) face disproportionate educational challenges because they must master subject-matter content while also developing English proficiency. Title III of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides funds to states and districts to help ELs attain English proficiency and to close the significant achievement gaps in reading and math between ELs and their non-EL peers. Some key aspects of Title III policy changed with the 2015 update to ESEA as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These changes include shifts in state accountability for ELs' English proficiency and responsibility for determining which students begin and stop receiving EL supports, as well as a new district requirement to implement parent, family, and community engagement activities. This study will examine whether support for and implementation of EL programs among states, districts, and schools seem to align with ESSA's key changes and emphases.

  • Do policies appear to support ESSA's objective of promoting consistency within states in how EL students are identified and exited from services?
  • What has the shift from a separate Title III accountability system for EL performance to integration of EL performance into the general accountability system under ESSA meant in terms of identifying schools with low-performing ELs for support and differentiation of supports for ELs?
  • Do district policies and practices reflect an emphasis on using research evidence to select and support language instruction, as ESSA encourages?
  • Do districts and schools appear to be responding to new Title III requirements for parent, family, and community engagement and outreach?
  • To what extent are teacher preparation and professional learning efforts directed towards building capacity to meet the diverse needs of ELs as ESSA requires?

This descriptive study is based mostly on surveys conducted in Spring 2023 of all state Title III coordinators and a nationally-representative sample of districts. The evaluation also draws on existing data, such as information from ESSA state plans, the Common Core of Data, and the Civil Rights Data Collection. Responses to survey questions will be tabulated into descriptive statistics (such as percentages) and simple statistical tests (such as tests for differences between percentages).

Reports are expected in 2024 and will be announced on

Key findings will be available after study reports are published.