If you have an administrator putting a lot of pressure on you because he or she thinks your school will miss meeting adequate yearly progress goals because of low test scores among English-language learners, you might want to read a big-picture article that Education Week published this week about the No Child Left Behind Act. The article describes a study that examines how likely it is that California schools will have all students meet “proficiency” by the 2013-14 school year. The answer: not likely.
Here’s what Education Week reporters Sean Cavanagh and David J. Hoff wrote:
Using statistical-modeling techniques, the study’s authors examine the progress of the nation’s most populous state, California, in attempting to meet the proficiency mark. They conclude that nearly all the state’s elementary schools will fail to meet that target, in large part because of the difficulty of bringing English-language learners and economically disadvantaged students up to speed academically.
Remember that the latest two-year evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education found that Louisiana was the only state to make AYP for ELLs in math during the 2005-06 school year, the most recent year for which data has been evaluated by the department. No state made AYP for ELLs in reading that school year.
So if your school isn’t making AYP for ELLs, you have plenty of company.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.