Rubric for District English Learner Programs

overhead view of a desk with a checklist

Designed to help districts assess and optimize their English learner (EL) services, this research-based tool contains 70 items organized into eight sections that address key components of a district’s program for English learners. Topics in the rubric were identified from research on how districts support instructional improvement and from research concerning resource needs for educating non-English speaking students. The rubric focuses on organizing and managing EL programs at the district level. The rubric does not address day-to-day choices teachers make in preparing lessons or delivering instruction to ELs.

Uses for the rubric include the following:

  • Benchmark progress over time
  • Identify areas in which the district is doing well and areas in which the district needs to improve its program for ELs
  • Inform discussion of priorities for action
  • Inform development of finer grained assessments of strengths and weaknesses
  • Structure discussion of EL programs with the school board, state education agencies, ESDs, and other districts
  • Inform communication to the community about district EL programs

Ways to complete the rubric:

  • GROUP CONSENSUS. Administrators responsible for ELL programs complete the rubric together as a group, discussing each item and selecting a rating by consensus
  • INDIVIDUAL REVIEW. District-level staff members with responsibility for the English language learner program complete the rubric independently. This approach may be more convenient for engaging a larger number of key staff, as individuals complete the rubric on their own time

An example of how a state is using the rubric with districts

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is using the rubric as an initial reflection process with districts across the state that are identified by criteria including English learner demographics and academic performance. In the first year, districts used the tool to self-determine how they were doing on each indicator. The second year, districts revisited the rubric to measure their progress in improvement areas. ODE intends to use the rubric in yearly meetings with identified districts as the districts create new plans and budgets. The goal of these meetings is to help districts realize the gains they are making or to direct their endeavors toward making improvements in specific areas.

To learn more about the services we provide to states, districts, and schools to better support English learner students, contact Kelli Scardina.

Download Rubric