The Every Student Succeeds Act and Level 5 English Learners: Reflections from an Indiana High School Teacher
English Learners (ELs) who move from being Limited English Proficient (LEP) to Fluent English Proficient (FEP) are regarded as Reclassified Fluent English Proficient students (RFEPs). Once they become RFEP, state and federal funding ceases and formal EL programming usually ends. RFEPs become a part of the general education population, yet their academic performance is often subpar relative to their English-only peers. As we move into the newly authorized Every Student Succeeds Act period (ESSA, 2015), their performance on academic achievement will be included in district and school accountability for the EL subgroup four years following their reclassification. This expanded inclusion of RFEPs within the EL subgroup assumes they will perform at a commensurate level with their English-only peers, but no Indiana studies have confirmed this assertion. This study intends to fill this gap by examining an Indiana high school.
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