English Learners Do Worse On Test

Naush Boghossian, Los Angeles Daily News, August 23, 2007

Fewer English-language learners in Los Angeles schools are passing the California High School Exit Exam on the first try, even though the overall student passing rate remains relatively steady, according to results released Thursday.

The number of L.A. Unified School District English-learners who passed the English portion of the exam on their first try dropped to just 27 percent—down from 49 percent two years ago and 30 percent last year.

Just 32 percent passed the math portion of the test, down from 47 percent in 2005 and 34 percent last year.

The drops reflect a statewide decline among English-learners, with just 36 percent of California’s 10th-grade English-learners passing the English portion of the test—down from 42 percent in 2005.

About 47 percent statewide passed the math portion, down from 49 percent two years ago.

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The passing rate among all 10th-graders in the LAUSD remained flat compared with the past two years, with 66 percent passing the English portion and 61 percent passing math.

[State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said,] “However, I continue to be troubled by the achievement gap, as indicated by our first-time test-takers, that continue to exist between students who are African-American or Hispanic/Latino and their peers who are white or Asian.”

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