Quality Counts 2009: English Learners

Education Week’s Quality Counts 2009 report focuses on how well states are teaching students who start school without fluency in English. The numbers are growing rapidly:  The number of students classified as English Language Learners rose by 57 percent from 1995 to 2005.  ELL numbers quadrupled in Arkansas, Indiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Ø Only 9.6 percent of 4th and 8th grade ELLs scored “proficient” or higher in mathematics on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2007, compared with 34.8 percent of students as a whole.

Ø The gap was similar on the 2007 NAEP in reading: 5.6 percent of ELLs scored proficient, compared with a national average of 30.4 percent.

One-fourth of ELLs showed no progress in a year. That varies from Maine, where 44.9 percent failed to improve, to Connecticut, where  just 1.4 percent made no progress.

English-Learners Pose Policy Puzzle reports that only a third of ELLs are foreign-born and nearly half are the children of immigrants.

Seventeen percent of ELLs are third-generation Americans with both parents born in the United States.

I’m guessing third-generation kids are mislabeled. They speak English fluently but read and write poorly for reasons other than the fact that some Spanish is spoken at home.

The report includes profiles of immigrant students from different cultures, countries and educational backgrounds.

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Comments

  1. Margo/Mom says:

    “I’m guessing third-generation kids are mislabeled. They speak English fluently but read and write poorly for reasons other than the fact that some Spanish is spoken at home.”

    Ah–but with a label they become someone else’s problem. That way we never have to look at whether the instruction in classrooms is meeting the needs of the students who are actually there.

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