Despite nationwide efforts to reduce an academic achievement gap among various racial-ethnic groups, the reading gap between Hispanics and whites has not changed significantlyit has measured more than 25 points in each of the last 17 years (National Center for Education Statistics, 2008). The gap is partly attributed to the fact that many Hispanic children were assessed in a language they had not yet mastered: 10% of all fourth-graders were English-language learners (ELLs), and 40% of ELLs were Hispanics. Further, approximately 80% of the Hispanic ELLs were tested without accommodations such as extended time and directions read in both English and the student's native language. The gap clearly indicates that many second-language learners are not performing at a level expected for academic success in an English-only environment. The lack of apparent academic progress often results in referrals to speech-language pathologists. SLPs are expected to determine if the child's lack of academic progress is due to a language disorder or to low linguistic skills in English. What is the SLP to do when confronted with such cases?
Graduation and Dropout Rates
English Learner Identification