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Takeaways from English Language Learner Report

May 24, 2019 • Keith McLemore

english second language

English Language Learner (ELL) enrollment has remained stable over the past six years, but the number of different languages spoken in districts has increased significantly, according to a new report.

The findings come from the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS), a coalition of the nation’s largest public schools, which recently released the results of a follow-up to its 2013 report on ELL trends within its 74 member districts.

The report offers insights related to ELL enrollment, performance, English proficiency levels, and professional development.

Other notable insights include:

  • ELLs receive special education services at the same rate as non-ELLs
  • Levels of math and reading achievement of former ELLs not enrolled in free and reduced-price lunch (FRPL) are similar to non-ELLs who were also not FRPL-eligible
  • ELLs have similar attendance patterns to non-ELLs
  • All districts whose percentage of ELLs relative to non-ELLs increased the most are in Texas (Dallas ISD, Arlington ISD, El Paso ISD, Houston ISD, and Austin ISD)
  • Dallas ISD had the largest increase in ELL enrollment (23 percent) as a percent of total enrollment
  • 10 percent of ELLs remained in a language acquisition program for six years or more

To read the full report, visit the CGCS website.


Keith McLemore is a compensation consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Keith an email at keith.mclemore@tasb.org.

Tagged: Diversity, "English as a Second Language", ESL