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ERIC Number: ED508517
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Pages: 61
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Achievement of English Language Learners in Post Proposition 203 Arizona
Wright, Wayne E.; Pu, Chang
Education Policy Research Unit
This report reveals the problems with claims made by Arizona state public education officials that English Language Learners (ELLs) are thriving under English-only instruction. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and the state's accountability system, Arizona LEARNS, require all students, including ELLs, to participate in statewide high-stakes testing. Test scores are the main measure of student achievement under these systems, and labels based on those scores are given to each school (i.e. Highly Performing, Underperforming, etc.). The state education administration's interpretation and strict enforcement of Proposition 203 has ensured that nearly all ELL students in grades K-3 are instructed through the English-only Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) model. They claim that SEI has led to better test scores and increased achievement among ELLs, using as evidence improved test scores and the decrease in the number of schools labeled as "Underperforming." However, analyses of test data for students in grades two through five and changes in the state accountability system revealed the contrary; they exposed serious achievement gaps between ELLs and their counterparts, and proved that positive looking improvements in school accountability labels mask test-score decline in a large number of elementary schools. (Contains 18 figures, 8 tables and 55 notes.)
Education Policy Research Unit. Arizona State University, Division of Advanced Studies in Education Policy, Leadership, and Curriculum, Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, P.O. Box 872411, Tempe, AZ 85287. Tel: 480-965-1886; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Arizona State University, Education Policy Research Unit
Identifiers - Location: Arizona
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Stanford Achievement Tests