Sacramento is paying considerable attention to California’s English Learners, who make up nearly 25 percent of the state’s public school students. A major overhaul last year of the way schools are funded now assigns more money for every student identified as an English Learner. This year, some policymakers would like to remove restrictions on bilingual education. Other legislation would seek a statewide policy about how to reclassify English Learner students as proficient in English—a process that varies widely across school districts.
PPIC Research Fellow Laura Hill and PPIC Bren Fellow Julian Betts addressed this topic in their recent report titled Pathways to Fluency: Examining the Link between Language Reclassification Policies and Student Success. The report, which was presented a public event in Sacramento last week, explores academic achievement among students who have been reclassified under the different policies in place at the Los Angeles and San Diego school districts.