Education Report Roundup

Texas Singled Out for Lacking Consistent English-Language Learner Policy

By Mary Ann Zehr — October 10, 2005 1 min read

Unlike other states with large numbers of English-language learners, Texas has not established a single, statewide process for schools to identify and assess these students and redesignate them as fluent in English, according to an examination of states’ policies for English-language learners.

“Making Uneven Strides: State Standards for Achieving English Language Proficiency Under the No Child Left Behind Act” is available from the Lexington Institute.

The study—conducted by Boston University political science professor Christine Rossell and published by the Arlington, Va.-based Lexington Institute—notes that because Texas doesn’t require all districts to use a single English-proficiency test to identify a child as having limited proficiency in English, the state differs from the six other states examined in the study. As a consequence, the study points out that it’s possible for a student to be considered an English-language learner in one Texas school district, while being considered fluent in English in another district.

The study examined standards for helping students to achieve English-language proficiency in six states that have the largest numbers of English-language learners in the nation. California has the largest number, followed by Texas, Florida, Arizona, Illinois, and New York. The study also examined Massachusetts.