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ERIC Number: EJ915111
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Lessons Scooped from the Melting Pot: California District Increases Achievement through English Language Development
Frey, Nancy; Fisher, Douglas; Nelson, John
Journal of Staff Development, v31 n5 p24-28 Oct 2010
Consider the challenges facing one district: 27,000 students in 44 elementary schools in a southern California border district. Most students--72%--are classified as English language learners (ELL) as measured by the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). Although 65% of the students are Hispanic/Latino and speak Spanish as a first language, 16% are Asian/Pacific Islander and speak Tagalog, Japanese, or Korean as a home language. In 2003, the state's accountability system, the Academic Proficiency Index (API), scored the district at 689, far short of the goal of 800. Yet by the 2009-2010 school year, this school system had reached 833, and 77% of the schools had met all of their accountability targets. All of this had occurred without appreciable change in demographics or staffing. This article discusses how the Chula Vista Elementary School District got these breakthrough results through focused content-specific staff development that has been sustained for five years. However, what made this initiative unique was the choice of content. Rather than pursue a more conventional approach, such as a focus on mathematics, science, or history, the district chose English language development for all students, not just those designated through state measures. Using a gradual release of responsibility model of instruction, the district elected to concentrate its professional development efforts on improving the academic language necessary for ELL students to achieve proficiency. To do this, the district has been building the capacity of its teachers and administrators through school-based teams that customize learning for their context.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California