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MCAS scores are no way to assess language program

Not mentioned in the discussion of dual-language schools (“End of language program protested”) is the overwhelming evidence that bilingual education works.

MCAS scores are unscientific. They are influenced by many factors that have nothing to do with the efficacy of bilingual education, such as students changing schools, changes in the test, changing levels of poverty, changing definitions of English proficiency, and teaching factors.

Scientific studies are set up to probe the effect of bilingual education, all other factors held constant. Such studies consistently show that English language learners in bilingual programs outperform similar students enrolled in English-only programs on tests of English reading.

Stephen Krashen
Los Angeles

The writer is professor emeritus at the Rossier School of Education at University of Southern California.