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Are California schools failing English language learners?

An elementary school student does work at her desk
An elementary school student does work at her desk
Larry W. Smith/Getty Images

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A new study from the California Community Foundation asserts that California high schools are failing the 1.6 million students for whom English is a second language. Nearly 60 percent of these students are deficient in reading and writing and fail to achieve the academic success needed to get into college. The study’s author calls the situation “alarming and urgent.” Are schools properly training teachers and monitoring programs? Where are there flaws—and strengths—in the system? How will this affect the state’s workforce in the long term?


Laurie Olsen, study’s author and founder of Californians Together