Friday, May 24, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
October 09, 2012
POLK COUNTY -- Less than 10 percent of students who speak English as a second language in Central School District were able to exit English development programs last year. That's 7 percentage points lower than the state's proficiency benchmark.
And overall, almost 52 percent of districts in Oregon fell short of the state's English proficiency standards for English Language Learners in 2011-12.
That's according to an Annual Measurement of Achievement Objectives report released by the Oregon Department of Education in late September.
"This year we saw the results for our ELL students moving in the wrong direction and that is simply unacceptable," said Rob Saxton, ODE deputy superintendent.
All ELL students in Oregon are required to take the state's English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) each year, the results of which are used to track a student's progress toward mastery of English.
Youths are assessed in reading, writing, listening and speaking of English. They're then ranked in one of five proficiency levels, ranging from beginner to advanced.
AMAO has three targets, which increase in rigor annually. Last year, it was:
* Whether 57 percent or more of students moved up by one proficiency level.
* Whether 17 percent of all ELL students have become language proficient and exited their English language development (ELD) program; and if 26.5 percent exit the program over five years.
* And whether the district as a whole meets AMAO targets for ELL students.
Only 40 percent of Central's 595 ELL students moved up one level of proficiency in 2011-12. The district almost met the second target, with 25.3 percent exiting development courses over five years.
Central scored lower last year than 2010-11, largely because of higher "cut scores" on assessment tests, said Buzz Brazeau, Central superintendent.
"In some cases, concepts and content that had been taught to sixth-graders has been moved down for students by two grade levels," Brazeau said.
The other two school districts in Polk County with ELL students -- Dallas and Perrydale -- both made AMAO status; those schools also have only 62 and seven students in the subgroup, respectively.
Only 10 percent of school districts in Oregon -- 19 -- passed proficiency muster overall. Thirty-three percent of the state's school districts, including Falls City, don't have ELL youths.