Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Report Finds Long-Term ELLs Languishing in Calif. Schools

Check out the full report: "Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California’s Long Term English Learners" by Californians Together.

Here is a list of the report's major findings:

• The majority (59%) of secondary school English Learners are“Long TermEnglish Learners”

• California school districts do not have a shared definition of “Long Term English Learners.”

• English Learners become “Long Term” English Learners in the course of their schooling experience.

• By the time Long Term English Learners arrive in secondary schools, there is a set of characteristics that describe their overall profile.

• Few districts have designated programs or formal approaches designed for Long Term English Learners.


By Mary Ann Zehr | Ed Week
May 27, 2010

A portrait of long-term English-language learners in 40 California school districts shows that the specific needs of such students are largely being ignored, a statewide coalition of education and civil rights groups contends in a new report.

Based on survey data, the studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader by Californians Together found that 59 percent of English-language learners in secondary schools in the districts had been in U.S. schools for more than six years without reaching a sufficient level of English proficiency to be reclassified as fluent. It also found that few school districts had programs or formal approaches designed especially for the long-term English-language learners.

So many English-learners have retained that classification for so long in California in part, the report argues, because many haven’t been placed in an English-language-development program at all or haven’t been given school curricula and materials designed for ELLs. When they’ve received special help to learn English, it says, it’s often been through inconsistent programming.

The report charges that California, the state with the largest number of ELLs in the nation, is “silent in policy” on the existence of long-term English-language learners and doesn’t have a plan for them.

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