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English Learner Education

English Learner Education Program Monitoring & Compliance

As one part of its accountability system, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education oversees local compliance with education requirements through Targeted and Focused Monitoring (TFM). All reviews cover selected requirements of the following federal and state laws: Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; The Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA); the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA); Massachusetts General Laws c. 69, 71A, 71B, and 76; and Chapter 218 of the Massachusetts Acts of 2002. Districts' ELE programs are reviewed every six years.

There are 12 ELE criteria that target implementation of the requirements related to ELE programs under state and federal law and regulations:

  1. ELE 1: Annual English Language Proficiency Assessment
  2. ELE 2: State Accountability Assessment
  3. ELE 3: Initial Identification of ELs and FELs
  4. ELE 5: ELE Program and Services
  5. ELE 6: Program Exit and Readiness
  6. ELE 7: Parent Involvement
  7. ELE 8: Declining Entry to a Program
  8. ELE 10: Parental Notification
  9. ELE 13: Follow-up Support
  10. ELE 14: Licensure Requirements
  11. ELE 15: Professional Development Requirements
  12. ELE 18: Records of ELs

Targeted and Focused Monitoring allows for differentiated monitoring based on a district's level of need.

The review process includes the following:

  1. Self-Assessment
    • District reviews English Learner Education documentation for required elements including document uploads.
    • District reviews a sample of English learner (EL) student records selected across grade levels and EL focus areas such as opt-out students, former ELs and students and/or parents who need translation and/or interpretation.
    • Upon completion of these two internal reviews, the district's self-assessment is submitted to the Department for review.

  2. Verification
    • Review of EL student records: The Department may select a sample of student records and request certain documentation to be uploaded to the WBMS as evidence of implementation of the ELE criteria.
    • Review of additional documents for English Learner Education
    • Surveys of parents of ELs: Parents of ELs are sent a survey that solicits information regarding their experiences with the district's implementation of English Learner Education program(s), related services, and procedural requirements.
    • Interviews of staff
    • Classroom observations as applicable
    • Parent and student focus groups as applicable

Resolving Common Findings for ELE 5

Tiered Focused Monitoring (TFM) Guidance

Problem Resolution System

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is committed to helping individuals and school districts resolve problems promptly. Laws exist to protect the rights of all students in the Commonwealth, and to ensure that all students receive equal educational opportunities.

DESE encourages schools and districts to take quick action to respond to questions and concerns about students' educational programs. Therefore, individuals with such concerns are encouraged to contact school district personnel (for example, the principal, superintendent of schools, or the administrator of special education) first to resolve the problem. However, individuals may ask DESE for assistance without speaking first with someone in the school or district.

Through its Problem Resolution System (PRS), DESE handles complaints that allege a public school or district is not meeting legal requirements for education. Anyone, including parents, students, educators, community members, and agency representatives, can contact PRS for assistance.

Contact Problem Resolution System at:

Problem Resolution System Office
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149
Telephone: 781-338-3700
TTY: N.E.T. Relay: 1-800-439-2370
FAX: 781-338-3710

For people who do not write or speak English, or are not comfortable communicating in English, DESE will make appropriate arrangements.

English Learner Coordinated Program Review (CPR) & TFM Reports

Responses to findings included in these reports are available from the respective local superintendent or charter school director. For questions regarding these reports, contact Sibel Hughes. For reports not listed below, see Public School Coordinated Program Review Reports.


**Note: Most of the reports are over 1MB in size, please allow extra time for download.

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Last Updated: June 28, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.