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Hart district English test scores rise

Many language learners earn Early Advanced and Advanced levels

Posted: August 22, 2008 9:44 p.m.
Updated: October 24, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 

Following a trend evident across the state, the Hart district has seen an increase in the number of students taking the California English Language Development Test this year.

The number of students taking the CELDT in the William S. Hart Union High School District has increased 44 students this year over the past year, according to Terry Deloria, director of special services. The increase is due in part to the district's aggressive stance in identifying students whose first language is something other than English and developing programs across the district to serve their needs.

Every school in the Hart district now has a program for English language learners, with the exception of Academy of the Canyons, Learning Post and Early College High School.

The number of students who score at the Early Advanced and Advanced levels on the CELDT has also increased in the Hart district. The state evaluates all districts' English language learner programs based, in part, on two important CELDT measures called Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives.

The first objective measures how many English language learners have advanced at least one proficiency level on a scale of five. The state has set a benchmark of 48.7 percent. In 2006-07 the Hart district reported that 63.2 percent had advanced one or more levels. This year, that percentage has increased to 68.9 percent.

The second objective measures how many students have achieved English proficiency. English language learners would have to test at one of the two highest levels on CELDT for the first time to meet this criterion. The state's benchmark is 27.2 percent. Last year, the district reported 37.8 percent of English language learners had tested at the early advanced and advanced levels, and this year that number has increased to 41.3 percent. Students need to be at the early advanced level or higher in order to be able to read English language textbooks in their other classes, Deloria explained.

"The CELDT is just one of the tools we use to place students in classrooms and programs," she said. "If a student is not moving up, we know we need to work on intervention. Knowing the students' individual scores also helps their regular classroom teachers, so they know how to differentiate instruction to make that subject accessible to those students."

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