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    Richard Vespucci
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
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For Release : August 18, 2005


DOE Announces Status of Academic Performance of Limited English Proficient Students

The New Jersey Department of Education today reported on the academic performance of limited English proficient (LEP) students, as required by federal law. A portion of the federal No Child Left Behind Act requires the states to identify school districts whose LEP students are not making adequate yearly progress on state-administered tests, as well as progress made by LEP students to achieve fluency in English.

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera noted that this is the first year that this announcement has been required. "The data we compiled provides us with baseline information against which we can measure future performance," Commissioner Librera said. "We expect local educators to review these results and identify better ways of helping limited English proficient students increase their academic performance and achieve fluency in English at greater rates."

Dr. Librera noted that school districts that did not meet an adequate level of performance do not face any immediate consequences, but that districts falling short of the mark next year will be required to develop corrective action plans to guide their improvement efforts.

With the approval of the federal government, each state has set annual benchmark goals for LEP student performance (adequate yearly progress, or AYP) and had to meet federal achievement objectives for achieving fluency in English (Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives, or AMAOs). In the latter case, the fluency objectives are set in Title III, the federal law for English language instruction.

In 2003-04, 11 Title III school districts out of a total of 320 districts did not meet their AMAOs for English fluency. Another 24 districts did not make AYP based on LEP student performance on state assessments. Five additional districts did not meet the AYP and AMAO benchmarks.

See attached table.

In addition, another 16 districts with low LEP student enrollments did not meet their AMAOs. Those districts were not identified in order to protect the confidentiality rights of individual LEP students. Regardless of the LEP enrollment size, all districts identified were required to notify parents if their students did not meet the performance and fluency benchmarks.