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English-Language Learners

"The Achievement Progress of English-Learner Students in Arizona"

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A report finds that more than 90 percent of Arizona's K-12 English-language learners were reclassified as English-proficient within six school years, but the study raises questions about whether the state's approach for ELL instruction works for all students.

The results are of note because Arizona remains part of the national debate over how best to teach students who enter school speaking another language. The state's approach to teaching includes a daily four-hour block of English-only instruction.

For the study, researchers from the Regional Education Laboratory at WestEd drew on data from the 2006-07 through 2011-12 school years. They found that the 6th grade cohort of English-learners had lower passing rates on English/language arts and math content tests than those who entered the school system at kindergarten or 3rd grade. Low passing rates were also found for English-learners eligible for school lunch programs, male students, and students eligible for special education services.

Vol. 35, Issue 07, Page 5

Published in Print: October 7, 2015, as English-Language Learners
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