Education Needs to Further Examine Data Collection on English Language Learners in Charter Schools

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO was unable to compare ELL enrollment in charter schools to ELL enrollment in traditional public schools because Education's only available data on school-level ELL enrollment were unreliable and incomplete. Specifically, for over one-third of charter schools, the field for reporting the counts of ELLs enrolled in ELL programs was left blank. These blank fields cannot reliably be interpreted to mean that the charter schools did not have ELLs enrolled. Education officials told us that these school-level ELL data do not have a data steward (that is, an ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. July 17, 2013.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO was unable to compare ELL enrollment in charter schools to ELL enrollment in traditional public schools because Education's only available data on school-level ELL enrollment were unreliable and incomplete. Specifically, for over one-third of charter schools, the field for reporting the counts of ELLs enrolled in ELL programs was left blank. These blank fields cannot reliably be interpreted to mean that the charter schools did not have ELLs enrolled. Education officials told us that these school-level ELL data do not have a data steward (that is, an office responsible for overseeing the quality of the data) and that the quality of the data is not examined on a regular basis. A definitional issue may have resulted in states excluding some students from the reported counts, and some charter schools may have failed to submit required data to their states. Education officials said they had not systematically studied charter school nonreporting but acknowledged that states sometimes have difficulty obtaining data from charter schools. Some charter schools with blank ELL counts were also missing data from other important datasets, such as those on school performance, which suggests potential broader problems with charter school reporting."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 17, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Education Needs to Further Examine Data Collection on English Language Learners in Charter Schools, text, July 17, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302791/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.