Educational Goals for EL's
Marshall County School District has a Structured English Immersion Program. As is noted in the Mississippi Guidelines for English Language Learners, the general goal of such a program is to help students acquire the English language skills necessary to succeed in a general education classroom. In order to determine if this general goal is being met, it will be necessary to examine other smaller goals that Marshall County has for its ELL students. All of these goals taken together for each individual student as well as the students collectively will give a full picture of our success.
First, students should be succeeding in all of their general education classrooms. Success is here defined two-fold. Passing all classes according to the grade scale established by the school in question is success. Additionally, students should progress in their proficiency level through instruction in the mainstream classroom as well as through ELL interventions (pull out lessons, Imagine Learning, etc.). As students progress, they will no longer require a special grading scale (level 4-6) and/or need fewer accommodations excepting those deemed necessary through special education.
Second, students should demonstrate success in state level assessments. The goal is that all students receive a score of proficient or advanced on their subject area state tests as well as any other state mandated standardized tests. The goal will be met if students pass tests at any point during their school tenure, regardless of the language of the test administered or any accommodations received during the test. Additionally, the goal will be met if students achieve and substitute an acceptable score on a college readiness standardized test (ACT, SAT, etc.) for a score on a state standardized test.
The final goal relates to the rate at which we hope to see students graduate from high school. In combination, the achievement of the first two goals will put students in a position to graduate from high school (assuming that they were scheduled to take all of the classes required by the State of Mississippi for graduation). The Marshall County ELL program aligns its graduation rate goal for students with those of the individual school that each student attends. At any point where the district goal exceeds the school goal, the ELL program will be aligned with the school goal. The rationale for this is that students should be compared to the peers with which they learn and use English daily and not students from surrounding schools that they may never meet.
In summary, the goals of the Marshall County ELL program are as follows:
1. Success in the general education classroom
a. Passing all classes
b. Progression in proficiency level
i. Move off of special grading scale
ii. Require fewer accommodations needed due to language barrier
2. Success in state level assessments
a. Proficient or advanced in all state mandated tests
b. OR acceptable score on college readiness standardized test
3. ELL population achievement of school graduation rate
In cases where a student is not enrolled in the mainstream education classroom or is otherwise not assessed with the general student population, the educational goals shall be determined on an individual basis in conjunction with other stakeholders who are familiar with the student and his/her individual circumstances. These goals are to be considered independent of those of the general population and measured accordingly.
By Stephanie Green