Calif. Court Upholds English-Only Exams

     (CN)) – A group of California school districts failed to prove that their limited English-speaking students were left behind in their skills-assessment testing under the No Child Left Behind Act, a California appeals court ruled.

     Coachella Valley and eight other schools districts sued California for testing the so-called “English learners” in English and for failing to make proper accommodations so they could be tested accurately for purposes of the Act.
     The school districts complained that in order to be fair, the tests should be administered in Spanish for students who speak Spanish and have been enrolled in school for fewer than three years. The districts also wanted testing to be available in “other languages where practicable.”
     Justice Reardon of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco upheld the lower court’s ruling that the state testing system is valid.
     “The school district’s premise that the purpose of California’s LEP (Limited English Proficiency) testing regime is at odds and incompatible with the No Child Left Behind Act is in correct. Federal law affords participating states considerable discretion in fashioning an assessment program for LED students,” Reardon wrote.

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