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Advocates Push To Ensure Minnesota’s New Education Plan Supports English Learners

Before Be Vang became an educator, she went through the public school system as an English language learner. So when she speaks today, on behalf of the multilingual families she serves as principal at Mississippi Creative Arts School in St. Paul Public Schools, she’s able to relate to the educational barriers — including low expectations — that English Learners often face.

Under the state’s expiring federal education accountability plan, English Learner (EL) students who were new to the country within the last 12 months were exempt from taking state tests measuring academic growth and proficiency. That meant that educators had no baseline data on how well these students grasped math and reading skills for an entire year.