Hoping to strike while interest remains high, groups advocating on behalf of Florida’s English language learners have begun circulating proposed changes to state law governing these children’s education.
The organizations have begun working with South Florida lawmakers, whose constituencies include large numbers of non-English speakers, to promote rules they say would more fairly account for the students’ academic performance — particularly as it relates to school accountability standards.
They recommend, among other things, weighting state assessment results with consideration for English-language proficiency, and allowing districts to test students in their home language (if feasible).
The ideas arise as Florida battles the U.S. Department of Education over the way in which the state tests English-language learners and uses the outcomes. Florida has asked for a hearing before an administrative judge to make its case, but has yet to hear a response. So far, the feds have not welcomed Florida’s arguments, and have stood by their stance over several months.