Language Learners Since being introduced in 2010, forty-four States have now adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative. This initiative provides standards in English, Language Arts and Math. Every child in a public school will be expected to meet each standard for their grade level In these areas. These standards are designed to guarantee that every child In America will be on par with each other. They use the example In their 3 minute video about a child In Seattle who has an A In his English class but would be receiving a C in a public school in Chicago(understanding
Common Core). These standards are also designed to insure that American youth are graduating high school with the ability to compete with other nation's graduates worldwide. So not only do American school children need to compete with their national peers but they are also competing on a global level (Common Core). Professor E. D Hirsch In an excerpt from his book "On Cultural Literacy" discusses how cultural literacy is the only way for Impoverished children to rise above their lot In life.
Part of his assumptions are that every American child needs a basic foundation, such as the subjects proposed by Common Core, to be provided by the American Education system. Hirsch argues this foundation will ensure every child is culturally literate,"only by accumulation of shared symbols, and the shared information that the symbols represent, can we learn to communicate effectively with one another in our national community" (36). This statement Is based off of the assumption that all Americans speak the same language (Bezel 661). This Is simply no longer true.
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Between 2010-2011 there were 4. 7 million English Language Learners (ELL) in the American School system (Fast Facts). Unlike No Child left behind act, Common Core acknowledges that they cannot define and meet every need that ELLS have in order to learn the language being used by Common Core on the same level as their peers (English Standards 6). Without going in-depth into the standards, the most accessible Information on the website Is specific on how to accommodate special needs children, but for ELLS all the standards say Is "It Is possible for every child to meet the standards"(6).
This paper will address the potential effects of Common Core on ELLS, by using the proposed effects of both Common Core supporters and Common Core posers. There is a lack of public information as to how these state standards are going to affect English Language Learners (ELL), there needs to be more focus on how state standards and federal tests are going to accommodate the growing number ELLS. In 2001 the Bush administration Implemented the No Child Left Behind act. (UNCLE). Under Title Ill in UNCLE it was clearly stated how ELLS were to receive special attention.
It allowed for extended time on test and occasionally for the test to be administered in the learners own language. These methods were not effective cause ELLS were still testing twenty to thirty percent lower than their English proficient peers. UNCLE required schools to break their students Into subgroups one testing in comparison with their English proficient peers. For ELLS the test was not only used to gauge their progress in that particular subject but also their progress in English proficiency.
Not surprisingly the ELLS were doing significantly worse on their English and language arts test than on Math and Science. A glaring fault of UNCLE was that once a child began to test on the same level as their English proficient peers hey were removed from the ELL subgroup and expected to keep succeeding without the extra accommodations. These ideas were implemented without there ever being proof they would work. Abide and Tilted finish their 2004 Winter report for CREST with the statement, "For a goal to be within reach of all schools, at least one school should have already attained it.
To date we have yet to see a school with a sizeable ELL population that meets the 2014 UNCLE requirements". (5) In preparation for the continued rapid growth of the ELL population, which according to a TESTS brief is errantly approximated at 6 million, Common Core broke down English proficiency expectations into four categories (4). An independent study conducted by Stanford defined the four categories are reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language (3,5-7). Reading requirements are designed to make sure students can read and comprehend complex text across all subjects.
Writing standards ensure students are prepared to research, analyze and argue. The need for speaking and listening is to ensure that every student has the ability to understand and articulate orally their ideas and arguments and the arguments of others. Finally the language requirement refers to grammar; in the paper the authors students need to understand that English is "as much a craft as a set of rules"(7). This paper argues that according to the standards, language will tie the four brackets together (7).
The opposition to Common Core is that Common Core will force teachers to teach to the test. Ritual standardized testing increases pressure on students to find the right answer instead of encouraging learning and independent thought (Hawkins). According to New York City teacher Katie Alphas in a letter to Carmen Farina, ELLS articulacy in grades third through eighth are "encumbered with standardized testing. " Here is a quote from a resignation letter by former Colorado Springs English teacher Pauline Hawkins "l am supposed to help them think for themselves,... Instead, the emphasis is on Common Core Standards and high stakes testing that is creating a teach to the test mentality for our teachers, and stress and anxiety for our students. " This anxiety is increased when a student is not only being tested on their comprehension of the material but also their comprehension of the English language. The majority of teachers who oppose Common Core want less regular testing and a more diversified way of evaluation. Common Core is moving fast. For most teachers they are being required to rewrite curriculum to match standardized testing, which is binge implemented in some states as early as April 2014.
In particular for ELLS in grades third through eighth, who have been in the country for a year or less they are allowed one exemption from a test. After that they are required to test to the level of their English proficient peers. There is an extra time allotment for ELLS UT as Katie Lymphoma states in a blob post titled Battling the High-stakes Testing Beast: from NAPE to NYSE, "the state has generously offered to give you extended time (time and a half) on the tests; instead of 90 minutes per day for six days (3 days for testing day. That's a total of 13. 5 hours! Hours upon hours of testing for a fifth grader who is working twice as hard to comprehend the test does not seem like the right answer. Lymphoma in the same post discusses how she as their teacher does not have access to the test results only the scores of her students. To summarize searchers are required to conform curriculum to the tests. The same test where they are not allowed to see which material their students failed on. The ELLS are exempt from only one test in the entirety of their schooling. During the testing ELLS could spend up to twelve plus hours a week testing.
According to the association of Teaching English to Speaker of Other Languages (TESTS) and an independent Stanford Study, Common Core will present significant challenges to ELLS but will also provide an education that will offer them the same opportunities as their native English speaking peers. When Common Core was first developed English Language Proficiency Development (ELOPED) Standards were left up to the individual states. Starting in 2012 Common Core recognized that a standard for ELOPED would need to be developed. In 2012 the Council of Chief State Officers produced a basic framework for states to use when adapting their ELL standards.
They also hired the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to prepare the assessment test prototypes. According to TESTS on testing "[the tests will] be administered by computer, both consortia are exploring technology-based accommodations, such as pop up glossaries and captions for audio. To ensure the widest accessibility to the test items" (7). By using measures such as extra glossaries and captions it should take some of the pressure off the students.
Common Core firmly states that only by regular standardized tests can teachers and the rest of the education community truly understand what students are learning. The Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards corresponding to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards is vividly clear in that they do not force schools to adopt a curriculum. Instead they simply provide what information students are expected to master at every grade. There is no proposed curriculum or any specific standards to guide teachers.
The Framework along with Common Core has yet to address what will happen if a child can not meet the standards. UNCLE clearly defined that if a child failed, then the school would be required to use [article title] funding to provide the student the ability to travel to a school where they could get better education. Diana Rancidity in her article with the Washington Post poses the same question what will happen to students who fail. How much funding will go to provide tutoring? What will the repercussions be for teachers whose students are not meeting the standard? Will schools who consistently fail the standards be closed?
These are Just some of the many unanswered questions raised by Common Core for ELLS. The Framework answered some questions, like which type of questions students are supposed to be able to answer by each grade, what type of thinking process they should have mastered and what kind of tests they should be able to pass. No one on either side of the issue is making light of the extra struggle the ELLS re going to have on top of the rigorous workload of an English proficient student. Those who are pro Common Core firmly state that by going through the Common workforce or further education.
Whether that statement is true or not has yet to be seen. Only time and testing will prove whether Common Core is truly beneficial to ELLS. The facts state that there are approximately six million ELLS in the American public school system today. Until we have a working ELL program that has proven results it is counter productive to expect those students to perform well on the Common Core tests. The government is in the awkward middle ground of some of the information being released without enough information to determine whether or not the program's success is even plausible.
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