LEARN's Bilingual Students Fared Poorly, Report Says

A new analysis of a study of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s LEARN reform program indicates that fourth-graders who recently transferred out of bilingual education classes fared the worst among Latino students.

The evaluation of the standardized test data is to be presented to the Los Angeles Board of Education on Monday by outside consultants. It was requested by the school district after a spring examination of the Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now reform program found Latinos as a group did not share in overall student test score improvements.

The consultants’ report pinpointed the primary difference between Latinos whose test scores improved–those who either entered school speaking fluent English or took a Spanish-language version of the standardized test–and those whose test scores dropped.

Carmen Schroeder, the district’s new bilingual education director, said that the decline is not surprising. “They are making the transition,” she said. “They go right into grade level in English and even though they have had to acquire a certain amount of academic English skills, they’re still catching up

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