English proficiency first, CSAP second | PostIndependent.com

English proficiency first, CSAP second

Dear Editor,

The May 3 article about the Colorado Student Assessment was thought-provoking. As a public school teacher of 16 years and a private tutor for English as a Second Language students, I question the one-size-fits-all testing standards. Why are ESL students taking the CSAP test at all? It would be wiser to give them an English proficiency test that they would be required to pass before taking the CSAP test. This way their progress in English could be monitored each school year. The children would then feel some success in their accomplishments of what they do know instead of what they do not know. Every student needs a good self image to achieve future success.

Putting pressure on the schools to improve the test scores is only going to work if the parents combine efforts with the teachers. The ESL students I work with test in the 90 to 100 percentile. A major reason for their success is parent involvement. These parents check homework, help with research projects, and get help if the child is having difficulty. They also spend a little family time each day practicing English. These parents not only expect their children to do well, but they provide support.

Therefore, until ESL students can show proficiency in English as a result of teachers and parents working together, they shouldn’t be taking the one-size-fits-all standardized assessment test. Instead, they should be required to pass an English proficiency test before taking the CSAP test.

Joan Wolfe

Glenwood Springs

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