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home language surveys

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Joined: 22 Jan 2011
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:43 pm    Post subject: home language surveys Reply with quote

I recently read an article found in Education Week that said that many people are saying that some school districts are overzealous in categorizing students as ELLs in the aim of complying with federal & state laws to ensure that students of immigrants get extra help w/ English. They say that the info requested on home language surveys (a survey that parents are commonly asked to fill out when they enroll their child in a public school) can be misleading or misused.

For example, in Orange County, once a student is designated as ELL, the label is not easily taken away.

In Arizona, state education officials have changed the home language survey there to ask only ONE question rather than the normal THREE, in an attempt to CUT DOWN on the overidentification of ELLs. Right now, the U.S DOE's office for civil rights is investigating a complaint that says thatby simplifying the home language form, Arizona is discriminating against children who may be dominant in English but still need extra help to gain proficiency in it.

States differ in whether they permit parenst to remove their ELL identified kids from special Eng instruction. NCBL says YES you can remove your child, but it also says that the states' laws on the matter take precedence over the federal law.

WHat do you think about this? The article points out a situation w/ a parent of a 5th grader in FL who says her son was mistakenly categorized as an ELL after she said on a home lang survey that Spanish was SOMETIMES spoken in their home. She asked officials to lift the label on her son, whose first & primary language is English- but they tell her state law doesn't permit them to do so unless he proves on a test that he knows English.

Should he HAVE to take a test to get out of the categorization? Thoughts.
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