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Susanne Smith, (503) 947-5637

December 16, 2008

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, 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 2007-08 are listed below:

• 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?

“ELL students need to be proficient in English to help ensure their success in the classroom,” said Susan Castillo. “ODE has sharpened our policies and guidelines to better support districts and students in these programs as they work toward English acquisition. Last year, Oregon adopted ELPA as the uniform measure to gauge English proficiency and adjusted the way we monitor ELL student progress to facilitate greater accountability. This means we can more effectively target funds and instruction to support those students who need it most. This is good news for our English Language Learners.”

Statewide results:
Target for AMAO #1 -- Did at least 35% move up by one level of English proficiency?
99 school districts met (72 %)
22 did not meet (16%)
17 school districts not rated due to small number of students (12%)
60 school districts did not have ELL students

Target for AMAO #2 -- Did at least 50% reach proficiency and exit the program?
14 school districts met (10 %)
84 did not meet (61 %)
40 not rated due to small number of students (29 %)
60 school districts did not have ELL students

Target for AMAO 3# -- Did the school district make AYP for ELL students?
20 school districts met (14 %)
54 did not meet (39 %)
64 not rated due to small number of students (46 %)
60 school districts did not have ELL students

Overall rating – Did the school district meet all three AMAO targets? 28 school districts met (20%)
93 did not meet (67 %)
17 not rated due to small number of students (12%)
60 school districts did not have ELL students

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 second year Oregon uses one standardized test to allow for better assessment and better comparisons across the state. This is important because it means that the state and school districts can better identify which programs are delivering better instruction for students and which 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 (45% in 2007-08; 55% 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 finally to 90% in 2012-2013.

There are two new reporting procedures for 2007-08 tied to objective AMAO#2. School districts must notify ODE when an ELL student who has attained an “advanced” score on ELPA is eligible for exit. Previously, “advanced” rated ELL students were considered proficient in English and automatically removed from the ELL program. School districts also monitor the academic achievement of exited students for two years after removal from ELL program. These procedures were enacted to ensure that students who are considered proficient in English can fully participate academically in all subject areas so that they are proficient in Oregon academic standards by 2013-2014.

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. .

There were 67,815 students enrolled in English Language Development programs in Oregon school districts 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

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Gene Evans, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5737

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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