Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Federal

New York, Arizona At Odds With Ed. Dept. Over English Testing

By Mary Ann Zehr — July 11, 2006 2 min read

Federal education officials have told New York Commissioner of Education Richard P. Mills that his state must change the way it tests English-learners or lose federal aid.

See Also

Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the New York State Department of Education, responded in an e-mail message to Education Week last week that state officials are willing to “arrive at a solution,” but that it is “premature to outline a solution now.”

Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, states must include English-language learners in regular standardized assessments in reading and mathematics and use those scores in calculating schools’ and districts’ yearly progress toward statewide achievement goals.

During their first year in the United States, however, English-learners don’t have to take a state’s regular reading test, though they must take the regular math test and an English-language-proficiency test. In addition, states don’t have to include English-learners’ scores in reading and math in calculations of adequate yearly progress until the students’ second round of annual state testing.

New York, however, has continued to use its English-proficiency test, called the New York State ESL Achievement Test, or NYSESLAT, as a substitute for the state’s regular English-language-arts test for the second and third times that English-learners participate in statewide testing.

A June 27 letter from the U.S. Department of Education to Mr. Mills said that New York must stop that practice if it is to continue to receive its full amount of Title I funds. The federal department gave the state an “approval pending” rating for its assessment system because of how it uses the NYSESLAT for accountability and for an issue concerning how it assesses special education students. (“Department Raps States on Testing,” this issue.)

The federal officials gave New York 25 business days from receipt of the letter to submit a plan for complying with the NCLB law for the 2006-07 school year. If the state doesn’t stick with its plan, the letter said, it will lose 10 percent of its Title 1, Part A, administrative funds, for fiscal 2006.

Arizona Issue

Meanwhile, Arizona state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne is threatening to sue the U.S. government over another matter regarding English-language learners and accountability.

He maintains that the federal government made an oral agreement with Arizona that permits the state to exclude the test scores of English-learners in calculations of adequate yearly progress for the first three years the students are in U.S. schools.

“The big issue is keeping one’s promises,” Mr. Horne said in an interview. Arizona received a letter from the federal Education Department on June 30 approving the state’s assessment system. The letter added that such approval doesn’t resolve the dispute the federal government has with Arizona concerning how it is calculating adequate yearly progress for English-learners.

“We will continue to work to resolve that issue,” the letter said.

A version of this article appeared in the July 12, 2006 edition of Education Week as New York, Arizona At Odds With Ed. Dept. Over English Testing

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
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
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
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

Federal Biden Signs Executive Order to Boost Food Benefits for Children Missing School Meals
The order is designed to extend nutritional benefits that his administration says would benefit children.
2 min read
The Washington family receives free meals at Dillard High School amid the virus outbreak and school closings on March 16, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A family receives free meals at Dillard High School amid the coronavirus outbreak and school closings on March 16, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Brynn Anderson/AP
Federal How Biden's Data Mandate Could Help Schools Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis
An executive order directs the Education Department to collect data on issues like whether schools offer in-person learning.
4 min read
President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, right, in the State Dinning Room of the White House, on Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington.
President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, right, at the White House, on Jan. 21.
Alex Brandon/AP
Federal Early Education Department Appointees Have Links to Jill Biden, Teachers' Unions
President Joe Biden's 12 appointments have links to the players who could exert the most influence on the new administration's K-12 policy.
4 min read
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden hug as they arrive at the North Portico of the White House on Jan. 20, 2021.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden hug as they arrive at the North Portico of the White House on inauguration day.
Alex Brandon/AP
Federal Biden Launches New Strategy to Combat COVID-19, Reopen Schools
The president plans a more centralized strategy that includes broader vaccine efforts, more data on the pandemic, and new school guidance.
5 min read
Public School 95 in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn is one of many schools in New York ordered to close due to a flare-up of coronavirus cases in the area on Oct. 5, 2020.
Public School 95 in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn is one of many schools in New York ordered to close due to a flare-up of coronavirus cases in the area on Oct. 5, 2020.
Kathy Willens/AP