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Achievement Gap

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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:42 am    Post subject: Achievement Gap Reply with quote

In regard to the EL achievement gap, the readings indicate that based on the data, the gaps are sizable in all content areas but are larger in reading than in math. My thinking on the smaller gap in math could be due to the universal language of mathematics. One teacher in my class explained that her LEP students use cognates as a technique to decode word problems in order to complete math problems. We discussed that with respect to math, numbers are pretty universal in many countries. Ironically, many ELs are placed in special education classes because they are classified as learning disabled. I find appalling the overrepresentation of ELs classified as having a learning disability or speech impairment. Case in point, in California and Arizona the overrepresentation doubled by 2006 to about 50% from 1998 &1999. I can only imagine what is happening throughout the United States. Unfortunately, a lot of teachers in states that have minimal required training are not prepared to meet student needs and therefore it is easier to just classify an EL student as disabled. They are not aware that functioning low academically may not have anything to do with a learning disability and everything to do with having limited English proficiency.
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