MinnPost: Test results show Minnesota’s multilingual students need new approaches in the classroom

By Aara Johnson and Bonnie O’Keefe | 

More multilingual students than ever before live and learn in Minnesota – the number of English learner students in Minnesota has increased by over 300 percent in the past 25 years. These students are critical to Minnesota’s economic and civic future, and they deserve schools that will nurture their academic, linguistic, and social-emotional development.

But too often multilingual students do not have the support they need to learn and thrive in school. The latest news from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) shows that average fourth-grade reading scores have decreased for English learner students in Minnesota since 2002, while other students’ scores have improved over the same time period. Minnesota’s reading gaps for English learners are worse than the national average.

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