Students' English Misses the Mark
Barbara Martinez with the story on a new report by Eva Moskowitz:
More than a third of New York City students who entered first grade in 2003 identified as English language learners couldn't pass an English-language proficiency test last year when they were in the seventh grade, according to Department of Education data.
"It shouldn't take six years" for students to achieve proficiency on the state language test, Ms. Moskowitz said. She argued that there is no accountability mechanism to ensure that children are taught English; the data are not publicly available and incentives prevent schools from prioritizing graduating children from English language learner status.
The Department of Education said Ms. Moskowitz's report doesn't acknowledge several markers that show the city has been making progress. It noted that about 25% of English language learners are also classified as special-education students.
"By every measure we've got, we're seeing our schools making progress with this population from where we started eight years ago" when Mayor Michael Bloomberg took control of the schools, said Shael Polakow-Suransky, the DOE's chief academic officer.
"That doesn't change the fact that too many kids aren't succeeding at the level that we expect and doesn't change that we need to continue to approach this with a great sense of urgency," Mr. Polakow-Suransky said.
- NY SCHOOLS
- MARCH 15, 2011