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Schools Aren't Likely to Make NCLB Targets by 2014

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If you have an administrator putting a lot of pressure on you because he or she thinks your school will miss meeting adequate yearly progress goals because of low test scores among English-language learners, you might want to read a big-picture article that Education Week published this week about the No Child Left Behind Act. The article describes a study that examines how likely it is that California schools will have all students meet "proficiency" by the 2013-14 school year. The answer: not likely.

Here's what Education Week reporters Sean Cavanagh and David J. Hoff wrote:

Using statistical-modeling techniques, the study’s authors examine the progress of the nation’s most populous state, California, in attempting to meet the proficiency mark. They conclude that nearly all the state’s elementary schools will fail to meet that target, in large part because of the difficulty of bringing English-language learners and economically disadvantaged students up to speed academically.

Remember that the latest two-year evaluation of the U.S. Department of Education found that Louisiana was the only state to make AYP for ELLs in math during the 2005-06 school year, the most recent year for which data has been evaluated by the department. No state made AYP for ELLs in reading that school year.

So if your school isn't making AYP for ELLs, you have plenty of company.

1 Comment

It's a totally duh pronouncement. Especially when the regulations say that 100% of ESOL students have to be proficient in 2014! Actually administrators are putting a lot of pressure on ESOL teachers and ESOL students. I was included into the Foreign Language Department by my school because we do an International Culture Night together every year. They also are more likely to teach like I do and have a broader understanding of language acquisition. I am being pressed to attend the English meetings even though English teachers have very different training and a lack of knowledge about language acquisition. Yes, I am teaching English, but not as a native language class where literature appreciation is the primary goal. My advanced students get both and transition to regular English that way. Now NYS's ESL standards are being subsumed by the ELA standards because of NCLB. The irony is that research states that English is best learned through teaching through the content areas rather than as a simple English class. Most students aren't receiving bilingual or dual language education and in some states it is even barred by law. So kids are being expected to take classes in English with a huge delay in language acquisition and now help in those areas. NCLB is a disaster for ESOL students.

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