Today, I was reminded of this report that came out in 2017 by NPR. The report provides a summary of who are multilingual/bilingual English learners in our education system, what kind of programs they received education and how they fare compared to all students in the graduation rates. Here are a few highlights and then please click on the link below to read more.
- 1 in 10 students across the US and multi-lingual/bilingual English learners (about 5 million students)
- Spanish is the most commonly spoken language but students speak hundreds of other languages as well (see map), followed by Chinese, Vietnamese, & Arabic
- Most multi-lingual/bilingual learners are born in the US. From Pre-k-5 (85%) and 6th through 12th grade (62%)
- The state with the most multi-lingual/bilingual learners in California (29% of the student population) followed by Texas (18%), Florida (5%), and New York (4%)
- States with the largest growth of multi-lingual/bilingual learners– Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina
- Most multi-lingual/bilingual learners struggle regardless of which state they go because ELL programs provide low expectations for students due to their low quality.
- Three main programs are ESL, Transitional Bilingual and Dual Language/Immersion
- Outcomes in terms of graduation indicate that in only one state those multi-lingual / bilingual learners outperformed all students– West Virginia. In all other states, there were significant gaps in graduation rates for all multi-lingual / bilingual learner
- On average across the US, only 63% of multi-lingual / bilingual English learners graduate from high school as compared to 82% of all other students.
- In 2016, 32/50 states reported not having enough teachers for multi-lingual / bilingual English learners
- Only 2% of multi-lingual / bilingual English learners are enrolled in all gifted programs compared to 7.3% of the rest of the populations
Claudia is a Full Professor of Education and Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Claudia is a researcher, consultant, and teacher educator committed to addressing the needs of bilingual students who are learning English and have a disability.