One of the biggest challenges in U.S. public education today is educating the nearly 5 million students learning to speak English.
English Learners (ELs), more often than not, struggle because they have little or no access to what they need to succeed. Situations of poverty, cultural differences, access to bilingual teachers, and the complexities of learning classroom content and language simultaneously cause these students to be behind their peers in academic achievement. Only 63% of ELs graduate from high school - compared to the overall national rate of 82%. Of those who do graduate, only 1.4% take college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT.
In addition to many falling behind, gifted students learning English are not being given the opportunities to thrive and pursue their goals because of bilingual teacher shortages and the challenge of providing quality and tailored instruction.
No student should be limited in their contribution to American society, which is why Stand for Children is working in states like Arizona to guide school districts to adopt new priorities for improving English Learner identification, assessment, and support.
Our organization also firmly stands with superintendents, the president of a national teachers union, leaders of top public charter school networks, nonprofits, principals, and teacher leaders in support of DACA-protected students, teachers, and youth.
The vibrant diversity of our students strengthens our communities, and the opportunities that we give them to learn and thrive will impact our society for generations to come.