English Learning Continues at Even Pace in State's Schools

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, February 16, 2006

Just under half – or 47 percent – of the 1.3 million so-called “English Learners” are scoring at the top two proficiency levels.  That's the same percentage as last year.  The figure comes from the results of the 2005 English language development test, which quizzes students on listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell says the state faces unique challenges: 
“California continues to have the most diverse student population in the country and we have the largest number of students who speak a language other than English in the country.”
O’Connell cautions against year-by-year comparisons – noting that the number of English learners can change dramatically in a given year.   But a report last month by the legislative Analysts’s office found that students are learning English too slowly in California’s schools.