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Va. Districts Concede in Fight With Ed. Dept. Over Reading Tests

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After several months of vowing to resist a federal mandate to test beginning English-language learners with Virginia’s regular reading test this school year, several Virginia school districts have acceded to the requirement.

Those school districts will no longer use an English-language-proficiency test in place of the regular reading test for accountability purposes under the No Child Left Behind Act. ("Tussle Over English-Language Learners," Jan. 31, 2007.)

Officials from the Fairfax County public schools, which have 164,000 students, announced April 18 that they will meet the federal requirement to give the regular reading test to their beginning English-learners who have been in U.S. schools for more than 12 months. However, educators will be instructed to let students determine when they are finished with the test, said Paul Regnier, a spokesman for the school system.

Spokespeople from the Arlington and Loudoun County school systems, which had also resisted the mandate, said officials at their school districts have also decided to comply with the requirement.

See Also
See other stories on education issues in Virginia. See data on Virginia's public school system.
For background, previous stories, and Web links, read English-Language Learners.

Vol. 26, Issue 34, Page 6

Published in Print: April 25, 2007, as Va. Districts Concede in Fight With Ed. Dept. Over Reading Tests

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