The criteria that California educators use to decide when English-language learners are fluent enough to leave behind special language instruction should be made uniform across the state,says.
Doing so, researchers argue, would help move greater numbers of English-learners out of that status in earlier grades, setting them up for more academic success later in their schooling.
For the report, released this month by the Public Policy Institute of California, researchers looked at 10 years of data from the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts for ells from 2nd to 12th grades. They found that students who were reclassified as proficient in English by the end of 5th grade performed on par with, or better than, their native-speaking peers, and later were at least as likely to graduate from high school as students who were never ELLs.
A version of this article appeared in the May 21, 2014 edition of Education Week as English-Language Learners