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All Students Have The Opportunity To Learn And To Achieve High Standards
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provided federal assistance to schools to meet the educational needs of disadvantaged students. Congress significantly overhauled the curriculum, shifting from a focus on remediation to high standards and accountability for greater achievement. For the first time, the law set out requirements for the full inclusion of students with limited English proficiency in Title I programs, assessments, and accountability systems. California is a particularly important state in this regard. relates to Title I reforms, because it receives far more Title I funding than any other state. Twenty-two percent of California’s children fall below the federal poverty line, and the achievement of its students, especially its poor African-American and Latino students, lags behind the rest of the country.
California is one of the most critical states in the nation to the standards-based reform movement, but it has an inconsistent record of meeting the needs of its students.
However, California districts have seen an influx of new funding in recent years. The state plans to increase spending from the general fund for education. Only 19% of fourth-grade students in California were at or above NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) proficiency in reading, and among poor and minority students, only 8% were black , 7% of Hispanics and 6% of free/reduced lunch-eligible students were at or above the proficiency level. A third of its ninth graders did not graduate from high school four years later. The figures for black and Latino students are higher; 44% of black students and 45% of Hispanic ninth graders did not graduate on time, if at all.
At fifth grade level, only 8% of English language learners were above the national average in reading. In math, 51% of all fluent English-speaking eighth graders met or exceeded the national average, compared to 15% of ELLs (English Language Learners).
Studies have shown that third-grade students enrolled in smaller classes performed slightly better than those who were not, and the gains were seen at all socio-economic levels. There has been some criticism of the program, however, as the program prompted the rapid hiring of additional teachers in California, many of whom had little or no experience. Proponents of English-only education attribute the gains of ELL students in some school districts to legislation, while proponents of bilingual education argue that the gains are due more to reduced class sizes and a greater accountability.
School districts and individual schools are required by federal law to provide assessment and accountability data that indicates that specially funded students are learning the district’s core curriculum. State laws and regulations also require that a district have the results of an annual assessment that demonstrates that each of its participating schools implements consolidated programs that are effective according to criteria established by the local board of directors. .
The state says the standards adopted for ELLs and former ELLs and immigrant students in core subjects should be the same as those required for regular students. ELLS should receive English language development until they are redesignated as fluent in English. In addition, all students will continue to take the Stanford science test for grade-level enrollment. Each student is required to take the Leaving Secondary School Examination in Year 10 and may take the examination in each subsequent administration until each section has been passed.
In addition to taking the designated test in English, ELLs enrolled in California public schools for less than 12 months must also take a test in their primary language if one is available. CDE (California Department of Education) guidelines further suggest that, where possible, assessments of subjects such as math, science, social studies, health, and other courses required for promotion to the school be administered to ELLs in the language of where they are best able to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject.
For their local accountability system, districts are encouraged to use multiple reading/language arts and math measures for all students. The US Department of Education has advised CDE that the state’s assessment program may not comply with Title I requirements for final assessments. Key requirements of federal law that must be adhered to by California education officials include uniform statewide policies to ensure full inclusion of all students in assessments, disaggregation of results assessment by major racial and ethnic groups as well as migrant status, and compliance with the Title I. requirement for the use of multiple measures. Growth targets are set for each major ethnic subgroup and for the school as a whole. Schools that meet or exceed growth goals will be eligible for monetary and non-monetary awards. Schools that continue to fall below their goals or that do not show significant growth may be subject to local interventions or possibly state sanctions.
The CDE reports that it is working to align state and federal requirements into a single state accountability system. Title I schools will be identified for program enhancement when they have failed to make adequate annual progress for two consecutive years. Despite recent progress, California still has a long way to go before it fully complies with federal requirements. The state must still:
– Demonstrate that the statewide test is aligned with content and state performance standards. This is important because California has chosen to use a multiple-choice test referenced to the national standard as the centerpiece of its new school accountability program.
– develop valid and reliable multiple measures of student performance. Current statewide standards for determining adequate yearly progress are based solely on school scores and do not yet incorporate the multiple measures of student performance required by Title I.
– provide for the appropriate inclusion of ELLs in the evaluation and accountability program. Currently, ELLs are largely assessed in English, although state law requires students to be tested in the language in which they are most likely to provide accurate and reliable information about their skills and abilities. knowledge.
– provide resources, capacity building and other assistance to schools and districts to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn and achieve high standards. In particular, class size reduction reforms have left many children in very poor schools without fully qualified teachers or adequate classroom space.
There is reason to doubt that the corrections and improvements necessary to comply with federal law can be made in time to meet legal deadlines. State and federal education officials are challenged to design a compliance and implementation plan for California that will deliver on the promise that all students reap the benefits of standards-based reform.
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