[lg policy] Arizona: Tom Horne: Feds' Stance on ELL Issues is 'Ridiculous'

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 16 14:35:39 UTC 2010

Tom Horne: Feds' Stance on ELL Issues is 'Ridiculous'
By Mary Ann Zehr on September 15, 2010 3:18 PM

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne explained some
of his thinking behind policies in Arizona for English-language
learners in an interview yesterday with National Public Radio. The
U.S. Justice and Education Departments determined last month that the
state's home-language survey and criteria for exiting English-language
learners out of special classes to learn the language are not in
compliance with federal law. And the two government agencies have just
opened an investigation into whether the state discriminates against
teachers whose first language isn't English.

Horne said that the home-language survey, which the state simplified
from three questions to one question, contains the one question that
he thinks is crucial to determine if a child should be tested for
limited proficiency in English: "What is the primary language of the

Horne contended in the NPR interview, "The federal government wants us
to go back to putting kids into an English-language-learner class
because there's a grandmother in the house that speaks a different

He addressed the testing issue by saying that Arizona contracted with
a company, Pearson, to create an English-language-proficiency test and
to set the criteria for a passing score on the test. (The state
considers any student who has passed the test as ready to exit special
programs.) Horne said the testing company followed guidelines that had
been provided by the federal government. He added, "Now they're
criticizing us for something that was in their own guidelines."

Horne calls the federal officials' position on the various policies
"ridiculous," according to the NPR transcript.


N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of the list as to the veracity of a message's contents.
Members who disagree with a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal,
and to write directly to the original sender of any offensive message.
 A copy of this may be forwarded to this list as well.  (H. Schiffman,

For more information about the lgpolicy-list, go to

This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list