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LOSD hits one benchmark, misses others for English learners

Department of Education report underscores need for closer attention to ELL students


The Lake Oswego School District did not make enough headway in teaching English to English language learners during the 2011-12 school year, according to a report released Monday by Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Rob Saxton.

The Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) Report, which is required under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, describes the progress school districts in Oregon are making in teaching English to English language learners as measured by three federal targets: acquiring knowledge of the English language, becoming proficient in English and exiting the program, and meeting annual measurable objectives.

In 2011-12, 118 students were identified as English language learners in the district. The LOSD policy for English language learners, readopted in June 2009, is that all students whose primary language isn’t English shall be provided appropriate assistance until they are able to use English in a manner that allows effective and relevant participation in regular classroom instruction and other educational activities.

Lake Oswego was one of 11 school districts that set annual measurable objectives, minimum percentages of ELL students achieving at a proficient or higher level in reading/language arts and math in each grade level assessed.

All limited-English-proficient Oregon students in grades K-12 are required to participate annually in Oregon’s English Language Proficiency Assessment, an online adaptive assessment that measures student proficiency in the areas of speaking, writing, reading and listening.

With 63 percent of ELL students in Lake Oswego moving up by one level of English proficiency, LOSD was one of 38 districts that met the 57 percent target for annual increase in progress in learning English. The target for the 2012-13 school year is 61 percent.

For a district to meet the annually increasing target for students reaching English language proficiency and exiting the program, at least 17 percent of ELL students in that district, as well as 26.5 percent of ELL students who have been in the program for five or more years, must reach English proficiency. The total percentage of ELL students in Lake Oswego reaching English proficiency (17.796 percent) met standards, but the percent of such students who have been in the program for five or more years (12.5 percent) did not, making LOSD one of 16 school districts not meeting the annually increasing target of exiting or obtaining English proficiency.

Although it met overall AMAO standards in 2010-11, LOSD was one of 102 school districts in Oregon that failed to meet all three targets in 2011-12. Any district that does not meet overall AMAOs for two or more consecutive years has to submit a plan of improvement to the Oregon Department of Education, which then works with that district to address areas of needed improvement such as instruction, curriculum and professional development.

Riverdale School District was not rated.

The percentage of Oregon’s ELL students moving up by one level of English proficiency was 50.2 percent, the same as last year. The percentage of Oregon’s ELL students reaching proficiency and exiting the program was 16 percent, down from 16.6 percent last year. The percentage of Oregon’s year five ELL students reaching proficiency and exiting the program was 31.6 percent, down from 32.2 percent last year but still above the target.

“This year we saw the results for our ELL students moving in the wrong direction and that is simply unacceptable,” Saxton said. “As we work to redesign our state’s education system around common goals and rigorous outcomes, improving services and supports to our English language learners will be a critical piece in the equation. Continuing down our current path is not an option.”




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