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December 10, 2009

State Issues Progress Report on English Language Proficiency in Oregon Schools

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today the release of the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) report for the 2008-2009 school year as required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The report shows the progress that Oregon school districts are making in teaching English to English Language Learners (ELL), based on test scores from the state’s English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA).

In order to meet the federal requirement, school districts must meet the targets in all three AMAO’s. The targets for 2008-09 were:

  • Did at least 35% of ELL students move up by one level of English proficiency?
  • Did at least 50% of ELL students reach proficiency and exit the program?
  • Did the school district make Adequate Yearly Progress for their ELL population in reading/language arts and math?
“Proficiency in English is critical to success in our society, regardless of your ethnic or social background. It is our responsibility as educators to provide English language learners with the instruction that will let them excel in the classroom and in life,” said Superintendent Castillo. “Although it is encouraging that the majority of students learning English are making adequate yearly progress, Oregon is still falling short at ensuring each year that half of five-year ELL students are ready to transition out of English language instruction. We must improve our collective efforts to produce the results we all want for every ELL student.”

Statewide results*:

AMAO Target #1 -- Did at least 35% of ELL students move up by one level of English proficiency?
109 school districts met (77 %)
8 did not meet (6%)
24 school districts not rated due to small number of students (17%)
57 school districts did not have ELL students

AMAO Target #2 -- Did at least 50% of year-five ELL students reach proficiency and exit the program?
16 school districts met (11%)
95 did not meet (67 %)
30 not rated due to small number of students (21%)
57 school districts did not have ELL students

AMAO Target 3# -- Did the school district make AYP for ELL students?
29 school districts met (21%)
46 did not meet (32%)
66 not rated due to small number of students (47 %)
57 school districts did not have ELL students

Overall rating – Did the school district meet all three AMAO targets?
20 school districts met (14%)
99 did not meet (70%)
22 not rated due to small number of students (16%)
57 school districts did not have ELL students

* Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.

Background:
The ELPA is the primary state measure for determining ELL students’ English Language proficiency. When a student completes his/her ELPA test, they receive a score that identifies where they fall in five levels of English proficiency (beginning, early intermediate, intermediate, early advanced, and advanced). This is the third year Oregon used one standardized test to allow for better assessment and better comparisons across the state. The uniform test allows the state and school districts to better identify which programs are delivering best instruction for students and which programs may need improvement.

The AMAO#1 measures the percentage of students making progress in acquiring English language proficiency. This target increases every three years and is set to increase to 65% in 2009-2010 and again to 95% in 2012-2013. ELL students are expected to make continuous and substantial yearly growth. This means school districts are expected to show 10% improvement each year on the target for AMAO#1 (35% in 2008-09; 65% in 2009-10; 75% in 2010-2011; 85% in 2011-12; and 95% in 2012-13).

AMAO#2 measures the percentage of students attaining English language proficiency and exiting the ELL program. This measure applies only to students who have been in the program for five or more years, are identified as “advanced” on their ELPA test or were ‘early advanced’ the previous year. This target also increases every three years. The current target is 50% and is set to increase to 70% in 2009-2010 and then to 90% in 2012-2013.

AMAO #3 is the NCLB requirement that school districts make Adequate Yearly progress for their ELL students in reading/language arts and math. Toward this end, ELL students are required to take the yearly Oregon OAKS assessment.

Districts failing to meet the overall AMAOs for two consecutive years are required to submit a plan of improvement to the Department of Education. ODE reviews school district ELL programs on a three year rotating program through the state Title III monitoring process aimed at facilitating program improvement. Currently, there are 52 school districts in improvement status based on their performance on the 2008-09 AMAOs.

There were 63,011 students enrolled in English Language Development programs last year of the 66,342 eligible limited English proficiency students in Oregon last year. State and federal funds are designated for programs designed to help students gain skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing English. Oregon state law provides districts with an average of about $2,700 in State School Funds for each ELL student each year. No Child Left Behind provides about $135 per student in supplemental federal funding to school districts each year.

For technical details on Oregon’s AMAO report, please visit http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=106

For information on Oregon’s ELPA, please visit http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=1224

For information on Oregon’s English Language Proficiency Standards, please visit http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=36


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Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Jake Weigler, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650
http://www.ode.state.or.us


Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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