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Left Behind?

The Trump administration has reignited a political debate over language and education by doing virtually nothing at all.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—Congress’ recent rewrite of No Child Left Behind, which was crafted under the Obama administration but is being rolled out now — urges states to test English learners in their native languages. While prominent blue states are already doing so, red states are refusing.

The White House, so far, is fine with that: The U.S. Department of Education has signed off on some states’ plans to avoid offering native-language assessments, signaling that the federal government has no intention of enforcing the strongly worded regulations written by the former administration.