Contact: Jesus Vaca

310-450-8338, ext. 331

For Immediate Release

April 30, 2002



"Results of the first administration of the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) are what we expected and support other data we have about our English Learners," Superintendent Deasy said today after reviewing results of the state's Internet posting of the 2001 CELDT results for schools, districts, counties, and the state. "This is the first year that the state has required districts to assess all English Learners with one state-approved test during a specified period," John Deasy said. "These results represent a major step in our efforts to ensure all students have the necessary skills in English to be successful."

The purpose of the CELDT is to identify new students who are English Learners in kindergarten through grade 12, to determine their level of English proficiency, and to annually assess their progress toward acquiring English proficiency. Under state law, districts must administer the CELDT for initial identification to all students whose language is other than English and for whom there is no record of English language development results within 30 calendar days after they are first enroll in a California public school. Districts also must give the CELDT annually to identified English Learners until they are classified as Fluent English Proficient (FEP).

The CELDT addresses state-adopted English Language Development Standards and covers three skills areas: Listening/Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Students in kindergarten and grade 1 are assessed only in Listening/Speaking. Students in grade 2 through 12 are assessed in all three skill areas. Results are reported according to five proficiency levels: Beginning, Early Intermediate, Intermediate, Early Advanced, and Advanced. 2001 CELDT results are baseline data. The scores should not be used to evaluate the quality of a school or district bilingual program.

Until matched scores for individual students are available that track English acquisition over a multi-year period, it will be impossible to determine the progress the students are making. Districts must inform parents of test results within 30 calendar days of receiving this data from the testing publisher. The California Department of Education (CDE) is required to post, state, county, district, and school results on the Internet annually.

In the Santa Monica-Malibu District, 319 students took the CELDT for initial assessment and another 1329 students took the CELDT as part of the annual assessment. Local results showed by grade level, the number of English Learners receiving an "Annual Assessment" in the SMMUSD was 165 in first grade declining to 46 by grade 12. Of the 1329 students receiving an "Annual Assessment," 360 were classified as "Advance" and 419 as "Early Advanced." Many of these will be redesignated as Fluent English Proficient (FEP) during the 2001-2002 school year.

The superintendent noted that although the CELDT is now a primary measure for assessing English fluency, it is only one of several criteria used at the district's schools to determine English language fluency. The superintendent stated that, "our school staffs will be reviewing their 2001 CELDT results along with other data about their students' level of English fluency as they plan their curriculum and instructional strategies for the coming year. They also will be reviewing individuals results to determine how best to address the language development needs of each student."

"Helping English Learners become fluent in English benefits everyone. It allows all students full access to educational experiences that lead to career opportunities. Students also can become valuable resources to each other when they are able to share their ethnic and cultural heritage," Mr. Deasy concluded.



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