Among students in the Los Angeles Unified School District who are classified as English-language learners, 29 percent are not reclassified as fluent in English by the 8th grade, according to a study by the Los Angeles-based Tomás Rivera Policy Institute. The study looked at a cohort of nearly 29,000 students who were 6th graders in 1999. Nearly two-thirds of the cohort were ELLs and 42 percent of those ELLs were reclassified as fluent in English by the 5th grade. The study shows that those who are reclassified in elementary school or even early middle school tend to do well academically. Some 29 percent of ELLs were reclassified by the 8th grade. The remaining 29 percent of ELLS, more than half of them born in the United States, weren’t reclassified by the 8th grade.
The study says that a review of current reclassification rates of ELLs in Los Angeles indicates that the rate has not changed significantly in a decade.
A version of this article appeared in the November 04, 2009 edition of Education Week as Long-Term ELLS