School Choice & Charters

New York State Says English-Learners Aren’t ‘At-Risk’

By Mary Ann Zehr — December 22, 2009 1 min read

New York state education officials have decided that a charter school in New York City can’t give preference to English-language learners in admissions because such students aren’t technically “at risk,” according to a story published yesterday by GothamSchools. State law urges charter schools to focus on students “at risk of academic failure,” the story says.

The Department of Education in New York City said the school could give preference to ELLs, but state officials said it couldn’t. The state considers ELLs to be in the “high needs” category but not the “at risk” category.

Interestingly, some observers have criticized charter schools in New York state for not enrolling as many ELLs and students with disabilities as regular public schools. See my earlier posts about this issue here and here.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.