High Stakes Testing and English Learners


Today, Representative Mary González of Texas wrote a compelling article about how high-stakes tests have a long term negative impact on English Learners.  She cites the research that says it takes 5 to 10 years to learn a second language to be able to function in it academically.  Realistically, if schools were to test student achievement, it should only be done after those 5 to 10 years have passed to give a fair picture of how students are doing in their second language.  Unfortunately, Texas is one of the states where "standardized test scores of ELL students are held accountable no matter the student’s English proficiency or the amount of time they have spent in Texas public schools" potentially setting them up to be placed in lower tracks, graduate late, or repeat a grade.  How does your state, district, and school address the research in the length of time it takes to learn a second language when considering testing policies?


(Reference: Helping English Language Learners in Texas Without the High Stakes, Politic365.com, May 20, 2013)

Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen
Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen


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