College preparation for English learners needs early preparatory work
Regarding the recent article “Santa Barbara’s Black, Latinx Grads Less Likely to Get into California’s Public Universities”, the graph presented by the Santa Barbara Unified School District is incomplete and does not show the least represented groups: emerging bilingual learners and young people without housing. .
Charts prepared by the district consultant show all groups according to demographics, including emerging bilingual learners, who appear to be the lowest performing of all groups, reaching 16%, almost half the rate of the next cohort. the smallest – young people without housing at 34 years old. percent.
The low number of emerging multilingual students meeting GA university admission requirements is sad and disgusting, and also falls short of economically disadvantaged learners.
Are LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan) funds being properly spent on the most vulnerable groups of under-represented students to meet GA requirements to enter UC and CSU colleges? It is the chicken and the egg; you can’t just talk about side notes without understanding what happened first.
There seems to be a lag with what happens before students enter secondary education to produce this result. What happens before the 5th year? Are there disaggregated data by school on the number of multilingual students who pass the State Required English Proficiency Test (ELPAC) at the end of 5th grade?
Unless these emerging English speaking students pass this test, it is unlikely that they will be reclassified; instead, they remain learners of English during their stay in the district. How could they even start taking the same preparation courses with this language deficit?
It’s worth a closer look: what opportunity was missed or could have been realized differently in the first few years that could have made a difference in their results?
The moving end of this June 22, 2021 district meeting (which can be seen in the last half hour posted on Youtube) was encouraging in only one aspect, which is essential for improvement. The board recognized and agreed that one cannot talk about the results of secondary education without understanding what has happened at the elementary level. They understand that children are hurt by the failure of the school system to support and assess them earlier, and the opportunities they miss as a result.
It was an honest and tough discussion recognizing the importance of periodic assessment throughout Kindergarten to Grade 12. One of the more direct comments was from Wendy Moten-Sims, who said, âWe need to talk about what’s ugly to fix this problem,â and she stressed the importance of early intervention to address the problem. equity in education.
To dig deeper, how does Franklin Elementary achieve surprisingly above the state average in English and Math to prepare its students for success? Let’s compare the scores between two schools with similar demographics, around 95% of Latino students according to greatschools.org
Franklin Elementary’s English scores are 57% compared to the state average of 51. Student math is 49% compared to the state at 40.
Adelante Charter School, which is a dual language immersion school, shows English at 19% of the state average at 51. Their math is at 27% of the state average at 40% .
Are students in the dual language immersion program required to take the Grades 2-6 STAR test for English and math? Is it broken down by school? All of this is important in measuring progress in English acquisition and foundational math for access and intervention in improving student outcomes in these areas.
Converting McKinley into a dual language immersion school without supporting data is frightening and unprecedented. This fall, McKinley Elementary School will be converted to a bilingual immersion school with 90 percent teaching in Spanish and 10 percent in English from kindergarten. The following year, the first year will keep the same model. From the second year, an additional 10% of English instruction will be added each year, reaching 50% of English in the 5th year.
How will this help them in their English Proficiency Test (ELPAC) which is required before the end of 5th year?
Unlike Adelante, a charter school that families choose to attend, McKinley is a neighborhood school that has a neighborhood boundary with no buses. If a family wants education entirely in English, they will need to withdraw and transfer to another school, if there is one, and provide their own transportation, depending on the district.
Concerns about the entire McKinley school conversion – and the collateral damage to date with the relocation of 19 of 28 staff and teachers, some with involuntary transfers – have a core group over sizzling summer. The school where McKinley’s principal, Juana Sorria at Oxnard came from, has a bilingual immersion track and one in English, as does CanaliÃ±o Elementary School in Carpinteria.
SOS (Save Our School) McKinley continues to advocate that a track remain in English so families have a choice.