College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup

Language and Dropouts

By Lesli A. Maxwell — March 26, 2013 1 min read

English-language learners are twice as likely to drop out of school as their peers who are either native English speakers or former ELLs who have become fluent in the language, concludes a report by the California Dropout Research Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Synthesizing much of the research over the past three decades on the reasons behind the low academic achievement and high dropout rates of English-learners, author Rebecca M. Callahan, an education professor at the University of Texas at Austin, finds that many English-learners are still isolated in English-as-a-second-language programs that focus little, if at all, on academic content. That’s the case even though most states and districts will not reclassify a student as fluent in English until he or she has demonstrated proficiency in both language and academic content.

A version of this article appeared in the March 27, 2013 edition of Education Week as Language and Dropouts

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