Current and former English-language learners have improved faster than English-only students in the past 15 years on the test dubbed “the nation’s report card,” finds a new study in the journal Education Researcher.
Fourth and 8th grade multilingual students’ scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in math and reading have risen two to three times faster since 2003 than those of students who speak only English at home. When researchers included not just current ELLs, but also former ones who had since gained proficiency in the language, they found the gap between English-only and multilingual 4th graders closed by 24 percent in reading and 37 percent in math from 2003 to 2015. For 8th graders, the gaps closed by 27 percent in reading and 39 percent in math in that time.
A version of this article appeared in the June 20, 2018 edition of Education Week as English-Language Learners