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Arne Duncan and English-Language Learners

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I have only one clue to offer about what kind of policies Arne Duncan, who has been nominated as the secretary of education for President-elect Barack Obama's Cabinet, might favor for English-language learners. As the superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, he has argued that English-language learners should have a separate test other than the state's regular reading and math tests for ELLs.

In the 2007-08 school year, the U.S. Department of Education required Illinois to drop use of a plain English test for ELLs, called the the Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English, or IMAGE, for calculating adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act. So last school year, all ELLs had to take the regular state tests for math and reading. Scores for elementary students still rose 1 percent from the previous year after the change in policy, but Mr. Duncan told Chicago Public Radio that ELLs still need their own separate test.

So I speculate that as secretary of education, Mr. Duncan could be more lenient in permitting states to use alternative tests for ELLs than has been the case with current Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Over the last few years, the Education Department has required a number of states to stop using alternative tests for ELLs, but has given its stamp of approval to other states for alternative tests that it found acceptable.

Another interesting note about Mr. Duncan is that he comes from a state that requires schools to provide bilingual education if they have a critical mass of students who speak the same language. About 14 percent of the 408,600 students in Chicago Public Schools are English-language learners, and many schools in that system do provide bilingual education. Mr. Duncan should have had quite a lot of exposure to the educational method. I don't know, though, how his views on bilingual education line up with those of President-elect Obama.

2 Comments

Arne Duncan has been advised,  that the Dept of Ed will soon be under investigation by Congress due to Spellings' involvement in the induced fraud by Western Seminary and collusion with its accreditation agencies, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

On October 30th and November 4th two lawsuits were filed and served against Margaret Spellings and the Department of Education over their cover up of academic fraud and collusion with ATS and NWCCU.

A third lawsuit will be served on Spellings and others over their concealment and/or destruction of evidences to aid and abet Western, ATS, and NWCCU as well as further allegations of misconduct and intentional misrepresentation. Duncan will inherit Spellings' mess. Spellings' administration is using taxpayers' dollars to help special interest accreditation agencies who in turned helped the school to harm the student, Randy Chapel, and his family. Western Seminary, Steve Korch, Gary Tuck and LynRuark are using various law firms, insurance money and tuition from the general fund to deal with their mess

read more at www.educationalfraud.com

I am of the opinion that alternative tests for ELLs do serve certain purposes, so I am definitely against them being banned.

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