Press Releases and Articles

Study of New School Accountability Plans Shows Districts Not Focused on Needs of English Learners

May | 2015

Report on 1st Year of LCAP Calls for Stronger State Guidance, More Local Commitment to Research-based Approaches and Stronger Engagement With EL Families & Communities

 A new report that reviewed the Local Control Accountability Plans of 29 key school districts throughout the state, and the impact those LCAPs are having on English Learner students, was released today by Californians Together.

The report, titled “Falling Short on the Promise to English Learners, A New Report on Year One District Local Control Accountability Plans,” found that LCAPs tend to be characterized by woefully inadequate specificity and weak attention to how schools are meeting the various needs of English Learners.

State Reports Data on Long Term English Learners and Students at Risk of Becoming Long Term English Learners

Jan | 2015

California is the First State in the Nation to Define and Identify English Learners who After Many Years are Struggling to Succeed

Sacramento: Three out of four (74%) English Learner students in grades 6 -12 have been in California schools for 7 years or more and are still without the English skills they need to succeed academically. Because this is far longer than it should take to attain English proficiency, they are called “Long Term English Learners” (LTELs). The numbers compiled by the California Department of Education for the first time by any state in the nation, is part of an effort to ensure these students get the educational support they need.   This is the first of what will be annual releases of school level and district level data on LTELs being reported as a result of legislation passed in 2012, (AB 2193, Lara) that defined who a Long Term English Learner (LTEL) is and also set criteria for identifying Students at Risk of Becoming a Long Term English Learner. No other state in the union has shone such a clear light on this issue. …Read More.

California Schools Step Up Efforts to Help ‘Long Term English Learners’”

Dec | 2014

After more than 11 years in Los Angeles public schools, Dasha Cifuentes still isn’t speaking or writing English at grade level. The U.S. native, whose parents are Mexican immigrants, was raised in a Spanish-speaking household and she acknowledges that the two languages get confused in her mind.

“I should be more confident in English because I was born here, but I’m embarrassed that I haven’t improved myself,” said Dasha, a junior at Fairfax High.

Now, however, she and other students like her are receiving more attention under a new state law and initiatives by L.A. Unified and other school districts. The law requires the state to define and identify a “long-term English learner,” the first effort in the nation to do so. Click here to read more.

Many English Learners Still Struggle with the Language, Study Shows

May | 2010

Nearly 60% of English-language learners in California’s high schools have failed to become proficient in English despite more than six years of a U.S. education, according to a study released Thursday.

In a survey of 40 school districts, the study found that the majority of long-term English-language learners are U.S. natives who prefer English and are orally bilingual. But they develop major deficits in reading and writing, fail to achieve the academic English needed for educational success and disproportionately drop out of high school, according to the study by Californians Together, a coalition of 22 parent, professional and civil rights organizations.

The flaws in California’s English-language programs have placed hundreds of thousands of children in academic jeopardy, dashing their dreams for college and imperiling the state’s economic future, the study found. The offspring of immigrants make up 55% of Los Angeles County’s child population. Click here to read more.