Sunday, February 29, 2004

No Child Left Behind is adjusted to give ESL students a year to ramp up English skills

"U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige recently gave English as a Second Language students more time to get up to speed before they have to take the same tests as everyone else. And those tests can get schools in hot water if the scores aren't good."

"They will have to take tests to measure their math skills and the amount of English they know, but they don't have to take the same reading tests as other students during their first year."

"'It gives us more time to work with students,' said Linda Fair, principal of Metro's Haywood Elementary, where 40% of students are ESL. 'It's a move that is workable and fair to children. They come to us with a strong language barrier, and they don't know enough (English) to tell us what they know.'"

"Schools also got a reprieve because none of the scores from first-year ESL students counts against the school."

The Tennessean

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