Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Immigrant learners and No Child Left Behind

High concentration of limited-English proficient students challenges implementation of NCLB

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) may be one of the most important pieces of immigrant integration legislation in the last decade. That's the finding of a new study by the Urban Institute.

The research finds that limited-English proficient (LEP) students are highly concentrated in a small share of America's public schools. Seventy percent of LEP students in kindergarten through fifth grade are enrolled in only 10 percent of the country's public elementary schools.

High-LEP schools, where almost a quarter of students are LEP, are more likely than others to have teachers with provisional, emergency, or temporary certification, and their teachers are substantially more likely to be uncertified. At the same time, high-LEP schools outdistance other schools in providing professional development for teachers as well as support and enrichment programs for students.

NCLB requires schools to report, as a separate group, LEP students' scores on standardized tests and holds schools accountable for their results. As a result, NCLB is forcing schools to give special attention to the education of LEP and low-income students. To read the report online, click here.

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