Monday, October 31, 2016

Federal regulations threaten civil rights – Cloaking Inequity

Federal regulations threaten civil rights – Cloaking Inequity:

Federal regulations threaten civil rights

Do the U. S. Department of Education (USDOE) recently proposed regulations threaten the civil rights of English Learner (EL) students? The new regulation (34 C.F.R. §299.19 (c) (3)) would eliminate the use of state content assessment results and other evidence of actual classroom performance in English Learner (EL) program exit decisions, violate the rights of thousands of Hispanic, Chinese, Haitian, and other language minority parents to have meaningful input into the education of their children, silence the voice of teachers into program exit decisions, and disrupt the rules and procedures in place in most of the nation’s schools and districts and in all of Florida’s. These changes would result in harm to ELs since premature termination of language and academic support would increase their risk of school failure and negatively impact their life chances.
Entry and exit criteria determine who becomes eligible for the benefits of program participation, how students become eligible, and for how long they remain eligible.  If students are reclassified on the basis of one sole score on an English Proficiency (ELP) test and are thrust into mainstream classes before they are ready, the challenges they face in meeting achievement standards are magnified. To meet our legal and moral obligations as educators, we must provide English Language Learners opportunities to learn the English language, to learn the subject matter required for grade to grade promotion and graduation, and to acquire the academic language needed for success in school, higher education, and life.  To accomplish these goals, parents and educators must consider factors in addition to the results of an (ELP) assessment (a test of language skills that does not assess content knowledge and is administered only to ELs) when making high-stakes placement decisions.

Psychometric Standards

The proposed regulation ignores the need for multiple measures upon which to base decisions that will have major impact on a student, the Federal regulations threaten civil rights – Cloaking Inequity: