A federal judge this month refused to delay enforcement of his previous ruling that students who are still learning English can earn a high school diploma even if they have not passed the state’s high school exit exam.
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne had asked Judge Raner C. Collins to put a stay on the ruling while Mr. Horne appealed it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
But on March 16, Judge Collins refused to do so, leaving in place his judgment that English-language learners should be exempt from passing the state test until Arizona shows that its programs to teach such students are working. Judge Collins’ decision marked only one of the latest twists in the 14-year-old Flores v. Arizona lawsuit over funding ELL programs in the state. (“Arizona Governor Allows ELL Bill to Become Law,” March 15, 2006.)
In a separate ruling in Flores on March 17, Judge Collins said the state must start distributing $21 million in accumulated fines to schools for educating ELL students. Mr. Horne has appealed the ruling.
A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2006 edition of Education Week