A report from California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing found more than 11,000 out-of-field instructors of English-language learners from 2003 to 2007, accounting for more than half the total out-of-field assignments reported during that period in the state.
The figure is a significant increase from a prior review covering 1999 to 2003, which found only 1,450 out-of-field teachers for English-learners.
Commission officials said the larger number reflects better identification of teachers not authorized to instruct ELLs. The state instituted stronger monitoring and review of ELL assignments as part of the 2004 settlement in the Williams v. State of California educational adequacy lawsuit.
The Williams settlement also requires California districts, starting in 2005-06, to collect data annually on certified teachers’ qualifications in schools that perform poorly on the state accountability system. The report found a substantial decrease in out-of-field assignments in those schools after one year.
A version of this article appeared in the September 03, 2008 edition of Education Week