Students who haven't mastered English are casualties of strict system
By Lauren Roth
May 25, 2013
Across Orange County and the state, thousands of students such as those at Dr. Phillips are finding themselves lost in translation. They enter public school without fluency in English — and many never catch up.
In Florida, 91 percent of English-language learners failed the 10th Grade Reading FCAT in 2012. Nearly two-thirds earned a Level 1 — the lowest possible score. In Orange County, the results were almost a carbon copy.
"I am pained by the number of kids losing out on their futures because of this. It's tragic," said Joyce Nutta, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida who specializes in the education of students learning English. "There's so much more we could be doing."
Nutta and others take issue with common practices in Orange County and elsewhere. For instance, English-language learners are likely to be lumped in classes with students who speak either far more or far less English than they do. They often have specialized help in only one class a day.
And bilingual education, a method that researchers say produces better results than an English-only approach, is available only to a small number of students.
Read the full article at http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/education/os-orange-esol-students-20130525,0,5909916.story