English-Learner Proficiency

Learn more about the reclassification of former English-learners, including the proficiency tests they take
Elementary students in a computer lab
The national average scores on a popular online assessment show that impact from the COVID-19 pandemic remains among English learners' English-language proficiency.
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English-Language Learners English Learners' Proficiency Scores Are Still in Decline, Data Find
The latest data from a national online English-language assessment found the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Ileana Najarro, April 30, 2024
5 min read
The child is studying the alphabet.
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English-Language Learners Nuanced Accountability Would Help English Learners. New Research Shows How
A new report offers suggestions on how states can approach federal accountability measures with more nuance for English learners.
Ileana Najarro, February 8, 2024
5 min read
High school teacher Tara Hobson talks with a student in the school cafeteria at San Francisco International High School in San Francisco on April 19, 2016. Some districts have gone to extraordinary lengths to accommodate migrant students, who often come to join relatives, sometimes escaping criminal gangs or extreme poverty. San Francisco International High School rewrote young-adult novels at a basic level to spark the newcomers' interest in reading.
High school teacher Tara Hobson talks with a student in the school cafeteria at San Francisco International High School in San Francisco on April 19, 2016. The quality of education for English learners, including migrant students in San Francisco, has evolved over the last years in part due to landmark civil rights Supreme Court decision.
Jeff Chiu/AP
English-Language Learners How a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court Case Still Influences English-Learner Education
Fifty years ago Lau v. Nichols required schools to provide language support to English learners to ensure access to public education.
Ileana Najarro, January 19, 2024
7 min read
A young, culturally diverse elementary student is typing on a laptop as she sits at her desk. There are diverse kids blurred on either side of her working on laptops.
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English-Language Learners U.S. English Learners' Language-Proficiency Scores Still Below Pre-Pandemic Years
A new analysis of English learner language-proficiency test results shows the pandemic's outsized impact.
Ileana Najarro, April 18, 2023
4 min read
Illustration of data analysis.
sesame/DigitalVision Vectors
English-Language Learners The Complicated Picture of English-Language Learners' Progress During the Pandemic
The latest national data on English-learners’ language skills should be reviewed with these major caveats in mind.
Ileana Najarro, November 2, 2021
6 min read
In this Thursday, May 23, 2013 photo, students line up for recess at Jay W. Jeffers Elementary School in Las Vegas. More than 80 of the school's incoming kindergartners don’t speak English.
In this Thursday, May 23, 2013 photo, students line up for recess at Jay W. Jeffers Elementary School in Las Vegas. More than 80 percent of the school's incoming kindergartners don’t speak English.
Julie Jacobson/AP
English-Language Learners Millions of ELL Students Face Prospect of In-Person, Federal Testing During COVID-19
As the coronavirus surges, ELL advocates and testing groups weigh the value of remote testing.
Corey Mitchell, December 22, 2020
7 min read
English-Language Learners Does English-Language-Learner Classification Help or Hinder Students?
Recent research offers conflicting views on a critical topic: How should educators classify ELL students who are on the cusp of English proficiency?
Corey Mitchell, November 9, 2017
3 min read
Federal Is a New English-Proficiency Test Too Hard? Educators and Experts Debate.
After scores plummeted this spring on the most-used English-proficiency test, some states are easing up on the criteria for students to exit English-learner support services. Is that the right thing to do?
Corey Mitchell, August 4, 2017
7 min read
Federal Thousands of English-Learners Fall Short on Test of Language Skills
A scoring change to a widely used English-proficiency test has led to thousands of students being retained in classes for ELLs.
Corey Mitchell, July 17, 2017
6 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup Research Report: English-Language Learners
The earlier that English-language-learners are reclassified as English-proficient, the more likely they are to graduate from high school, a study from the Regional Educational Laboratory at WestEd found.
Corey Mitchell, December 13, 2016
1 min read
English-Language Learners ELLs Who Master English Early More Likely to Graduate On Time, Study Finds
An Arizona-based WestEd study found that long-term English-language learners struggled to graduate within four years of entering 9th grade.
Corey Mitchell, December 1, 2016
2 min read
Illustration of students and teachers holding puzzle pieces.
F. Sheehan/Education Week and iStock/Getty
English-Language Learners CTQ Collaboratory 10 Assumptions to Rethink About English-Language Learners
Correct misconceptions and put assumptions aside when teaching English-language learners, says Anabel Gonzalez.
Anabel Gonzalez, November 1, 2016
5 min read
English-Language Learners Many Reclassified ELLs Still Need English-Language Support, Study Finds
Students who test out of English-language development programs continue to "struggle with the higher demands of English language arts and math," the WestEd study found.
Corey Mitchell, October 14, 2016
2 min read
Assessment Bureau of Indian Education Joins WIDA Consortium on English-Learners
Joining WIDA allows BIE educators to home in on one set of exams and standards to measure English-language proficiency among American Indian and Alaska Native children.
Corey Mitchell, September 29, 2016
1 min read