Language testing rules criticized as unrealistic
Studies show newcomer students need more time
by Heidi Hall
February 6, 2011
Research shows it takes the brightest, most motivated students three years to learn English well enough that they can test in it. But federal law allows newcomers only a one-year pass on testing.
Some lawmakers want to see the rules regarding students designated English Language Learners changed because they are particularly tough, and some say unrealistic, for schools and districts with high numbers of immigrant students. In Metro Nashville, 22 percent of students have a first language other than English, and the district missed testing benchmarks three of the past four years largely because of their standardized test scores.
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