Given how language-intensive the SBAC is (even the Math portion), looking at only this test is insufficient for understanding the progress of our English Learners. It also overlooks important differences within our English Learner population, which includes dozens of different primary languages and range in experience from refugees who have just come from a war-torn homeland, to students born in Oakland who speak a heritage language at home.
If you have ideas on how to better track the progress of our EL students in a way that is reliable and consistent across schools, I’d love to hear from you! Please shoot us an email
A growing number of schools in Oakland have created newcomer programs to address the influx of immigrants, unaccompanied minors, refugees and asylees. Some of these children have experienced extreme violence and trauma and have had little or no formal schooling. Others speak native languages unfamiliar to any staff member at the school. These schools, like Oakland International High School
, may not make it onto a “high performing on SBAC list” but deserve applause for their amazing and dedicated efforts to serve newcomers. We’ll feature more in a future blog post about EL students and newcomer programs across the city (including a dual-immersion middle school that is currently in the works)! Stay tuned!
a closer look at schools with a high percentage of Latino and African American students, two subpopulations that often are left behind in classrooms.