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March 25, 2004, Extra Credit
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March 25, 2004

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Making A Difference For English Language Learners In California

Research shows that students who can't read or write in English have a greater likelihood of dropping out of school, and they often face a lifetime of diminished opportunity. Therefore, No Child Left Behind ensures that schools are held accountable for the academic progress of students learning English—both in how well they are learning English and in reading and mathematics. The following are excerpts from a recent Sacramento Bee article highlighting how No Child Left Behind is making a positive difference for English Language Learners in California:

"The number of English learners statewide reaching proficiency in an annual state test took another big jump, according to statistics released [March 18] by education officials. State results showed that 43 percent of the students who took the California English Language Development Test scored at the early advanced or advanced levels in 2003. That is up from 34 percent in 2002 and 25 percent in 2001.

"State Superintendent Jack O'Connell credited statewide reforms, especially standards-based instruction, which sets what students should know grade-by-grade in each subject and tests their progress toward achieving those goals. In a teleconference call with reporters, O'Connell described the strides as remarkable. 'The scores on the English Language Development Test are another powerful indicator that holding all of our students to standards is working,' he said."

"Sacramento City Unified School District results showed that 50 percent of the English learners scored at the early advanced or advanced levels. Maria Lopez, Sacramento City Unified spokeswoman, said that the federal No Child Left Behind Act has prompted educators to push all students. 'It keeps it on the front burner that when they mean 'no child left behind' it means just that—no child left behind,' said Lopez. 'That is especially true in urban districts where there a lot of are newcomers to the English language.'"

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NCLB Extra Credit is a regular look at the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's landmark education reform initiative passed with bipartisan support in Congress.

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Last Modified: 08/13/2013