Iowa Task Force Outlines Challenges for State's English-Language Learners
By Lesli A. Maxwell
December 3, 2013
Just under 5 percent of students in Iowa's K-12 schools are English-language learners, a share that has risen every year for more than a decade. And in 23 of Iowa's school districts, English-learners comprise more than 10 percent of the student body.
That demographic shift alone—coupled with very low achievement levels for students whose first language is not English—prompted state education officials to take a closer look at what policies and practices are needed to better serve Iowa's growing population of English-learners. These are issues that many states that have experienced a rapid influx of immigrant families must tackle.
Iowa took it on this fall, with a task force assigned to look at ELLs, the instructional practices being used to teach them, and their academic outcomes. The task force's findings are outlined in a report that was published last week by the Iowa Department of Education.
Learn more about and access the report at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2013/12/iowa_task_force_outlines_chall.html