View Full Version : All NYC NYC Students' English Misses the Mark

03-15-2011, 09:41 AM
This from WSJ.com (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704893604576200770539472828.html) by Barbara Martinez:
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.

The numbers were culled by Eva Moskowitz, a former Manhattan city councilwoman known for her aggressive scrutiny of the Department of Education and clashes with the teachers union. She is now the head of a charter-school network.

Ms. Moskowitz said she requested the information from the DOE and compiled a report—which she plans to release Tuesday—because she is concerned that large numbers of English language learners are not getting appropriate instruction. While the city has made some progress, "we need bolder, faster change," she said.

"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.

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