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Effects of Reclassifying English Learner Students on Student Achievement in New Mexico

Attaining English proficiency is a critical juncture for English learner students. When students are reclassified as fluent English proficient, it is a sign they can engage in academic learning without specialized English language learning supports.

New Mexico state policy requires English learner students to achieve an overall English proficiency level score of 5.0 or higher on the ACCESS for ELLs (ACCESS) assessment to be reclassified. In summer 2016, the WIDA consortium undertook a standards setting process to better align the ACCESS assessment’s proficiency level scores with current college- and career-ready standards. Fewer English learner students in New Mexico demonstrated the English proficiency needed for reclassification after the standards setting, although the required proficiency level score did not change. The REL Southwest English Learners Research Partnership conducted a study to examine whether the state’s ACCESS score threshold appropriately identifies English learner students who have attained English proficiency and are ready to be reclassified.

Read and download the report: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/rel/Products/Publication/100814

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