The majority of English learner students in Los Angeles Unified district schools failed to meet state math and reading standards in the latest round of assessments, prompting parents to call for better communication with their children’s schools, according to a new report.

In 2018-19, just 11.5% of English learner students met or exceeded state English Language standards, compared to 50.43% of all LAUSD students. Just 12.4% of English learner students met or exceeded state math standards, while 39% of all students met or exceeded math standards, according to California state education department data.

“English learners in the district are not performing at the level they should be … [they] are such an important subgroup for the district to consider … especially a group that is this large,” said Jeimee Estrada-Miller, an author of the report, conducted by Loyola Marymount University, which found alarmed caregivers of English learner students want more communication and resources from their children’s schools.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, LAUSD has the highest number of English learners in the country, with more than 86,000 students classified in that category. Nearly half of all LAUSD students this year have been classified as English Learners at some point in their schooling.

According to the brief, more than half of LAUSD schools were performing “low” or “very low,” meaning that less than 35% of students at the school were advancing in English proficiency.

This chart shows the breakdown of how LAUSD schools are performing on English Learner progress. Just 4% of schools are in the “very high” category – meaning that 65% or more of the students at that school have moved up a level in English proficiency or are at the highest level of proficiency.

She called on newly-appointed LAUSD school superintendent Alberto Carvalho“to think about what practices the district should prioritize with English learners in mind.”

In findings based on a poll of 500 families — 29% of whom have children classified as English learners — conducted in collaboration with Great Public Schools Now and Families In Schools:

  1. English Learner Families Find Feedback on Students’ English Language Progress More Helpful than a Report Card
  2. English Learner Families Want Personalized Communication From Schools
  3. English Learner Families Want Schools to Function Like Communities

Read the full article about English learners by Rebecca Katz at The 74.