Liv Ames for EdSource

Two civil rights groups are suing the California Department of Education for refusing to release the number by individual school district – of English learner students who have not tested proficient in English after six years.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Public Counsel today filed a lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court to force the department to release the documents.

California Department of Education officials declined to comment because they had yet to review the lawsuit, said Tina Jung, a department spokeswoman.

A 2012 state law requires the department to compile the statewide number of long-term English learners — those who have been in schools for six or more years and not tested proficient in English — and provide districts’ numbers directly to the districts.

In February, the civil rights groups filed a public records request to seek the numbers of long-term English learners in 26 school districts, including the state’s largest, Los Angeles Unified. But the department declined to release the documents, stating they may be exempt. The Lawyers’ Committee sent a second request, which was ignored, according to the lawsuit.

The civil rights groups wanted the information to help parent groups as they developed plans for English learners, said Travis Silva, an attorney for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

“They are required to produce this information by statute,” Silva said. “By definition, it is public unless there is a legal reason they can justify withholding it and there’s not.”


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  1. Don 10 months ago10 months ago

    If the 2012 law requires the State to report the numbers it shouldn’t take too much digging around to find out if that law provides for any exemptions. Is the CDE trying to pull a fast one or not?

    Don’t expect Ed Source to provide the answer.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 10 months ago10 months ago

      Edsource is Fair and Balanced!

  2. Bill Beecher 10 months ago10 months ago

    The suit has some merit but is erroneous about the lack of data. Using Data Quest, you can parse the data for a school, a district, a county, and the State as a whole from the STAR testing. You can get it down to the number of EL at each grade level and the percentages that fall in the five categories. What you will find for the State, and I found this to be true … Read More

    The suit has some merit but is erroneous about the lack of data. Using Data Quest, you can parse the data for a school, a district, a county, and the State as a whole from the STAR testing. You can get it down to the number of EL at each grade level and the percentages that fall in the five categories. What you will find for the State, and I found this to be true for my district with 85% Hispanic, that after the fourth grade very few EL transition to FREP. We did a study for Pajaro Valley Unified and found that up to 50% of the EL will drop out from the second through the 12th grade. This complicates what the suit is asking for.

    Bottom line, you can figure out the answer from the Data Quest, STAR data base.

    Bill Beecher
    Aptos

    Replies

    • navigio 10 months ago10 months ago

      The problem with the dataquest/star data is that you can only guess at how the group compares from year to year. Not all middle school ELs enter a district in K, for example. You can get close, but its still just a guess. Generating LTEL numbers requires maintaining longitudinal consistency, something existing data does not do. How did you determine the 50% dropout rate? Dataquest only shows a cohort dropout of 17% for ELs. Your number … Read More

      The problem with the dataquest/star data is that you can only guess at how the group compares from year to year. Not all middle school ELs enter a district in K, for example. You can get close, but its still just a guess. Generating LTEL numbers requires maintaining longitudinal consistency, something existing data does not do.
      How did you determine the 50% dropout rate? Dataquest only shows a cohort dropout of 17% for ELs. Your number implies you have dropouts in middle and elementary. Although the former sometimes happens, usually not at a rate that would explain your numbers.
      I cant check star results at the moment because the ela and general math results are missing. I wonder if they are taking down CST data now…

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