Critical Policy Levers for Effective Implementation of Common Core State Standards for ELLs

Delia Pompa and Kenji Hakuta

This paper argues that the heightened expectations around language in the new standards pose major challenges for all students who engage with rich academic content, especially English language learners (ELLs).

The authors make five policy recommendations designed to give ELLs the educational supports necessary to meet the new higher standards:

  1. Ensure alignment of all key components of the state system with Common Core State Standards.
  2. Develop and implement valid and reliable assessments for all students.
  3. Move toward an assessment and accountability system that weighs and includes performance on English language proficiency and academic assessments.
  4. Ensure that all teachers are provided with pre-service preparation and professional development to effectively teach ELLs.
  5. Implement effective parent and community engagement strategies.

Delia Pompa


Delia Pompa calls for ELL advocates to take a seat at the policy table. Policy is for parents and communities, not just educational professionals.

About the Authors