Assessment

A Storm in Storm Lake

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 11, 2009 1 min read

A teenager of Lao descent, who was born in the United States, refuses to take an English-language-proficiency test and gets suspended from her high school in Storm Lake, Iowa. Then about a dozen students protest in front of the school to show their support for the student. (Hat tip to TESOL in the News Blog.)

As most of you know, schools are required by the federal government to give an English-proficiency test to students if parents say on a home-language survey that a language other than English is spoken at home. From the point of view of one of the students participating in the protest, asking only students who speak a language other than English at home to take such a test is “discrimination.”

Does anyone think the student has a point? Was suspension an appropriate response for the student who refused to take the test?

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