English Learners in California: What the Numbers Say
The more time that English-language learners spend in U.S. schools, the more likely they are to pass the English section of California’s high school exit exam, with the exception of students who have repeated a grade, according to a report by EdSource, a Mountain View, Calif.-based nonprofit education research organization.
But more time in school doesn’t lead to higher passing rates on the math section of the test, the report says.
It also notes that school districts’ rate of reclassifying students each year as fluent in English doesn’t necessarily correspond with how well students perform on state tests. For example, in the Natomas Unified School District in Sacramento, 6 percent of English-language learners were reclassified as fluent in English during the 2006-07 school year, but 54 percent of ELLs scored as proficient on the state’s English-language proficiency test.
A version of this article appeared in the March 19, 2008 edition of Education Week