The House of Representatives has just passed the new version of No Child Left Behind (called Every Student Succeeds Act). You can read more about it at:
House leaves ‘No Child’ education law behind is from The Washington Post.
No Child Left Behind replacement would give other states the freedom California has already claimed is from The Los Angeles Times.
It appears like it might have smooth sailing ahead…
The really important article, however, that teachers of English Language Learners should read first is from Education Week. It’s headlined ESEA Rewrite Could Serve as ‘Huge Civil Rights’ Bill for ELLs, Some Advocates Say.
I’m not sure I agree with those “advocates.” In fact, I think it has the potential for creating more problems for English Language Learners and their teachers.
I have particular questions about what appears (I have to admit I haven’t not read the actual bill, only summaries of it) to be added pressure towards reclassification of students as fluent very quickly. The research is mixed on various aspects of reclassification. You can read recent reports on it here:
The Effects of Changing Test-Based Policies for Reclassifying English Learners is an important research paper on the dangers of reclassifying ELLs (in other words, not providing extra support any longer to them).
Coincidentally, The Council of Chief State School Officers (the organization behind the creation of the Common Core Standards) has released recommendations on how states and school districts should reclassify English-language learners. You can read all about it at Ed Week.
I wonder if, with this added pressure, some schools will try to “game” reclassification, just as many did with standardized test scores?
What do you think?