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ERIC Number: ED508521
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 134
Abstractor: ERIC
Voices from the Classroom: A Statewide Survey of Experienced Third-Grade English Language Learner Teachers on the Impact of Language and High-Stakes Testing Policies in Arizona
Wright, Wayne E.; Choi, Daniel
Language Policy Research Unit
This survey of third-grade teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs) in Arizona regarding school language and accountability policies--Proposition 203 (a voter-initiative that restricts the use of bilingual education programs in Arizona schools), the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), and Arizona LEARNS (the state's high-stakes testing and accountability program)--reveals that (a) these policies have mostly resulted in confusion in schools throughout the state, (b) that there is little evidence that such policies have led to improvements in the education of ELL students, and (c) that these policies may be causing more harm than good. The majority of teachers surveyed reported that Sheltered (or Structured) English Immersion (SEI)--the state's mandated method for teaching ELLs since the passing of Proposition 203--is too restrictive and that this approach, as it is being implemented in Arizona, is inadequate for meeting the language and academic needs of ELL students. Furthermore, teachers reported that English-only high-stakes testing is driving instruction for ELL students which fails to take into account students' current levels of English language proficiency and previous opportunities to learn grade-level academic content. Teachers reported that recent changes in language and accountability policies and the strong pressure to teach-to-the-test and raise ELL student scores--despite the students' lack of proficiency in the language of the test--have decreased the morale and career satisfaction of teachers, and have led to high teacher turnover in schools with large ELL student populations. (Contains 2 figures, 14 tables, and 78 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 - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
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