Latino students among lowest performers on language test in California

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri Apr 8 13:41:19 UTC 2005

Latino students among lowest performers on language test in California  2005-04-08 03:28:11

                                LOS ANGELES, April 7 (Xinhuanet) -- Low
family income and education levels are slowing the ability of
Spanish-speaking students in California to master English, according to a
study released Thursday.  Spanish-speaking youngsters were among the
lowest performers onstate language tests in fall 2003, lagging behind
those who speak Korean, Chinese and Russian as their native language, said
the study by the Public Policy Institute of California.

                                The report linked census data with the
test results and also found that the state's 1.4 million Spanish-speaking
students come from families with average annual income of 40,676 dollars
and parents who only finished their freshman year of high school.  It also
found that students who speak Mandarin Chinese showed the largest gains on
the California English Language Development Test (CELDT), and came from
families with more than 16 years of education and incomes of 92,189
dollars a year, according to localnewspaper the Daily News.

                                ``I was surprised that there was such a
stark difference between groups of Students,'' Christopher Jepsen,
co-author of thereport, said. ``The hope would be that policy-makers could
target aid to the students that seem to need it more.'' For the Los
Angeles Unified School District, the study highlights the continuing
challenges of educating the district's nearly 300,000 English learners,
most of whom are Spanish-speaking,according to the paper.

                                Statewide, there are an estimated 1.5
million English learners.  The LAUSD showed gains that outpaced state
averages in CELDT results released in February.  Created in 2001, the test
measures the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of students
who are learning English.  The newly-released study suggests that
intervention for struggling students also must be targeted at students'
specific needs, including helping those whose families are poor and whose
parents might have little education, it was reported.

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list