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U.S. Education Policies and Legislation

Position Statement on Immigration Policy and Reform in the United States (August 2017; PDF)
As a nation of immigrants, the United States has grown and prospered through the measurable and immeasurable economic, linguistic, and cultural contributions of all immigrants, and continues to do so today. TESOL strongly urges open, respectful, and reasoned debate, free of heated and insensitive rhetoric that will only inflame anti-immigrant sentiment.

Increasing Academic Achievement and Enhancing Capacity for English Language Learners: Principles and Recommendations for the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (March 2011; PDF) 

The TESOL Board of Directors approved a revised set of principles and recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in the U.S.
TESOL and AZ-TESOL Joint Statement on the Arizona Teacher English Fluency Initiative (May 2010; PDF) 
TESOL and its Arizona affiliate AZ-TESOL have great concerns about this teacher English fluency evaluation initiative and its impact upon English language learners. Nonnative English-speaking educators should not be singled out because of their native language, nor evaluated based on arbitrary standards of language fluency.

Statement of Principles and Preliminary Recommendations for the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (October 2006, Amended October 2007; 88 KB PDF) 
As the Congress and the administration look toward the reauthorization of ESEA in 2007, TESOL advocates that the following principles be used to guide the reauthorization process to help ensure the academic success of English language learners. This is an amended version of the position statement approved in June 2006

Position Statement on Immigration Reform in the United States (June 2006; 69 KB, PDF) 
In the debate over immigration reform in the United States, proposals to the immigration system have ranged from purely punitive measures to indiscriminate amnesty. Because of the complex issues that surround immigration, any reform of the U.S. immigration system needs to be fair, equitable, and comprehensive.

Position Paper on Assessment and Accountability under NCLB (October 2005; PDF) 
Since its passage, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) has fundamentally altered the educational landscape in the United States. Its purpose is laudable: "to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind" (1425). However, its implementation has presented significant challenges to schools as they serve the growing number of English language learners--a group NCLB was specifically intended to help.

Position Statement on U.S. Visa Policy (October 2005; PDF) 
Much has been written about the increased difficulties international students and educators have faced when attempting to come to the United States to study. TESOL calls upon the U.S. government to provide a coherent visa policy, to create a timely and transparent visa process, and to refine controls and procedures to efficiently focus resources on those that require special screening.

Position Paper on English-Only Legislation in the United States (June 2005; PDF) 
English-only, Official English, and English First are various names used by a movement whose goal is to have English declared the official language of the United States, so that all government business is conducted only in English. TESOL has historically opposed such restrictive language policies, as stated by its Resolution on Language Rights (1987) and its Position Statement on Language Rights (2000).

Position Statement on U.S. Visa Issues for International Students and Educators (June 2005; PDF) 
TESOL urges U.S. policy makers and those who implement the policies to enact measures that ensure that all international students and educators are treated with respect and dignity, and to facilitate their opportunities to study in the United States.
Position Statement on Research and Policy (February 2005; PDF) 
A strong commitment to research as a means of improving professional knowledge is vital to the field of teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). This paper discusses the association's position on research and policy.
Position Statement on the Redesign of the U.S. Citizenship Exam (October 2004; PDF) 
TESOL urges test developers to continue to seek guidance from adult educators at each step to ensure that the test is fair and appropriate for the many examinees who have limited experience with formal education and standardized test formats.
Position Statement on the Use of B-Visas for Short-Term Language Study (June 2004; PDF) 
TESOL supports the use of B-visas, the visa category used by the Department of State for tourists and business visitors, for short-term language study in the United States.