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Are test scores enough for EB learners?

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Are test scores enough to assess English learners’ progress?

English learners’ strengths in spoken comprehension and conversation are among other factors that should be considered, says one expert.

Though 4th-grade reading scores for English learners on the National Assessment of Education Progress, may look stagnant to some for the last 20 years, those who work with these students say the scores reflect something different — that the system is working.

Students entering these courses are expected to be at beginning levels, although some have more proficiency than others, said Sarah Sahr, head of education and events with TESOL International Association, a professional organization for English language teachers. And characterizing their scores as stagnant, she said, is a “deficit approach.”

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