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National Evaluation of Title III Implementation

Contract Information

Current Status:

Study is ongoing.


September 2019 – September 2024



Contract Number:



American Institutes for Research
Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics
2M Research


English learners face disproportionate educational challenges because they must master subject-matter content while also developing English proficiency. Title III of the 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. The 2015 reauthorization of ESEA as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) moved accountability provisions for ELs' English proficiency from Title III to Title I and added a Title III requirement for states to develop standardized entrance and exit procedures. ESSA also added a new requirement for Title III districts to implement enhancements to language instruction education programs (LIEPs) for ELs. This study will provide a national portrait of Title III under ESSA and the strategies states, districts, and schools use to meet the needs of ELs more generally. A particular focus will be on approaches to support social and emotional learning, given the challenges of engaging and serving ELs during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Are states, districts, and schools responding to changes in federal policy for ELs (such as standardized statewide entrance and exit procedures and shifts in accountability provisions) as intended?
  • What strategies are states and districts using to improve EL educator effectiveness? What are the certification requirements to teach ELs in each state?
  • What curricula, instructional methods, or other supports do districts and schools use to promote ELs' English proficiency and academic achievement and to supplement LIEPs, including parent engagement activities?
  • What are the social and emotional learning needs of ELs and how do districts and schools identify and support those needs?

Surveys of all state Title III coordinators and nationally-representative samples of districts and schools will be conducted in Spring 2023, with some in-depth data collected in Spring 2021. 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). The study is descriptive and not designed to estimate the impact of federal policies on state and local actions.

The first report, which will examine the services and supports provided to ELs during the pandemic, is expected in 2023 and will be announced on

Key findings will be available after study reports are published.