Law change affects AYP status |

Law change affects AYP status

FRISCO – A federal law change affected scores by English Language Learner students in two Summit County schools.Formerly, federal law specified that a child learning English as a second language could wait for three years before taking the CSAP test, in order to give the child time to learn the language adequately enough to comprehend test questions. But last year, the federal government suddenly changed the English Language Learner (ELL) law to one year. Schools across Colorado had already tested ELL students according to the three-year law. This means that ELL students who had been in the United States for less than three years did not take the test.Because of this, two Summit County schools, Dillon Valley and Silverthorne, did not meet their AYP targets in participation. The federal government cited Colorado as being out of compliance with regulations. The state appealed that law – and lost. However, according to the state appeals policy, the schools acted in good faith and are listed as having made AYP within the state appeal process.”The state told the schools that they could appeal AYP status because the rules changed in the middle of the game,” explained Robin Ziperman, director of technical assessment and professional development for Summit School District.This new regulation is already raising concerns among the school district. “It’s hard for ELL kids to have enough academic English within a single year in order to take this test,” Ziperman admitted. “It’s traumatic for the students, and the teachers as well.”Next year, all Colorado schools will be testing ELL students after one year in the U.S., according to the new guidelines.Keely Brown can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at

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