A study of seven high-poverty districts in the Seattle metropolitan area found that it took nearly four years for elementary-school-age English-language learners to develop English proficiency.
Researchers from the Regional Education Laboratories Northwest tracked nearly 18,000 language-learner students in some of the lowest-performing school districts in Washington state. The districts are all part of the Road Map Project, a cradle-to-career program that aims to close the opportunity gap for low-income and minority students.
On average, it took the students 3.8 years to reach English proficiency. But nearly 20 percent of students did not score high enough on the state exam to be reclassified.
A version of this article appeared in the August 19, 2015 edition of Education Week as English-Language Learners