Federal

English-Learners Still Lag on Reading, Math Progress

By Mary Ann Zehr — June 27, 2008 2 min read

Nearly all states continue to struggle in meeting the No Child Left Behind Act’s academic targets for English-language learners in mathematics and reading, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Education today.

The biennial report to Congress credits just one state—unnamed in the report—with hitting the mark for adequate yearly progress, or AYP, in mathematics in the 2005-06 school year, the most recent year for which data was submitted, while none met AYP in reading.

But while the report paints a gloomy picture on the two subjects for the nation’s estimated 5 million ELLs, it also shows the states doing somewhat better in the area of English-language proficiency.

Overall, 24 states—including California, Pennsylvania, and Texas—reported that ELLs were making progress in English. And 28 states, including Arizona, California, and Illinois, met the tougher standard for ELLs to attain proficiency in the language.

Education Department officials had issued no comment about the report as of early afternoon.

The report, based on data from the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years, contains some conspicuous holes.

New York—which has a large number of English-learners—didn’t submit data for the report about student progress, even though the states are required to do so, and the report doesn’t say why that data is missing.

The report doesn’t say how many states made AYP in math or reading for the first of the two school years being evaluated. And it doesn’t give information about the different targets set by each state for making AYP or indicate how close states have come to meeting them.

Overall, the report says that 85 percent of the nation’s English-learners are participating in programs paid for with funds under Title III of the NCLB law. The department gave $580 million in state grants under Title III in the 2005-06 school year.

Progress Varies

The authors of the report point out that ELL achievement in math is slightly higher on average than achievement in reading.

Even so, fewer than half of such students tested proficient or above in math during the 2005-06 school year in 30 states. The proportion of ELLs testing at least proficient in math ranged from 4.7 percent in Missouri to 82.2 percent in Wyoming during the 2005-06 school year.

The report also notes that achievement in both math and reading drops as the grade level of students increases. “With each grade level,” the report says, “fewer states met their targets.”

The official name of the report is “The Biennial Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Title III State Formula Grant Program: School Years 2004-2006.” An electronic copy was not available as of today.

The Education Department’s first two-year evaluation of Title III was released in March 2005. (“Federal Data Show Gains on Language,” March 28, 2005.)

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Interactive Learning Best Practices: Creative Ways Interactive Displays Engage Students
Students and teachers alike struggle in our newly hybrid world where learning takes place partly on-site and partly online. Focus, engagement, and motivation have become big concerns in this transition. In this webinar, we will
Content provided by Samsung
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Miguel Cardona: Schools Must Work to Win Trust of Families of Color as They Reopen
As Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced new school reopening resources, he encouraged a focus on equity and student engagement.
4 min read
Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee during his confirmation hearing Feb. 3, 2021.
Now-U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee during his confirmation hearing in February.
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal CDC: Nearly 80 Percent of K-12, Child-Care Workers Have Had at Least One COVID-19 Shot
About four out of five teachers, school staffers, and child-care workers had first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of March, CDC says.
2 min read
John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel receives her COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 11, 2021. Teachers received their first vaccine during an all-day event at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.
John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel receives her COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 11at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.
David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP
Federal Ed. Dept. to Review Title IX Rules on Sexual Assault, Gender Equity, LGBTQ Rights
The review could reopen a Trump-era debate on sexual assault in schools, and it could spark legal discord over transgender student rights.
4 min read
Symbols of gender.
iStock/Getty
Federal Q&A EdWeek Q&A: Miguel Cardona Talks Summer Learning, Mental Health, and State Tests
In an interview after a school reopening summit, the education secretary also addressed teachers' union concerns about CDC guidance.
10 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during a press briefing at the White House on March 17.
Andrew Harnik/AP