Sunday, April 11, 2010

ELLs' Math, Reading Proficiency Rises, Study Finds

Check out the full report by CEP.


By Mary Ann Zehr | Ed Week
April 7, 2010

The percentage of English-language learners nationwide attaining proficiency in reading and mathematics on state tests increased in many states from the 2005-06 through the 2007-08 school years, says a report released today by the Washington-based Center on Education Policy. That increase was present at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, though it was less prevalent in high school than at the other levels, according to the center’s analysis.

But while the study found positive trends in test scores for ELLs, it notes that the gap in reading and math achievement between ELLs and non-ELLs remains huge in many states. The analysis didn’t look at whether that gap narrowed or widened in states in those school years.

The report includes a number of caveats to its findings, noting the frequent unreliability of data on English-learners.

“Our main finding is that, despite irregularities in terms of classifying kids and how the kids are tested, the overall trend is increased test scores for ELL students,” said Jack Jennings, the director of the center. He added that other reports by the center, an independent, nonprofit research organization, have shown that test scores have also increased for other kinds of students.

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