Schools often have trouble identifying English-language learners with learning disabilities—and most states don’t offer formal guidance to help educators diagnose and support the students.
A report from the National Center on Educational Outcomes found that just nine states have publicly available manuals designed to help educators. That’s despite a 2016 recommendation from the U.S. Department of Education that states should produce clear policies and guidance to help schools distinguish between English-learners who struggle with the language and those who have learning disabilities.
Drawing that distinction is key because English-learners with disabilities who are not actually identified may not be able to access important services. English-learners who are misidentified as having learning disabilities may have less exposure to content that develops their language and higher-order