Nashville, Tennessee--October 3, 2018—Education Commissioner Candice McQueen today released the 2018 English language proficiency assessment (ELPA) results from the WIDA ACCESS assessment. Seven districts, including Germantown MSD, were recognized this morning for acheiving the highest exit rates in the state. These scores demonstrate that Germantown Municipal School District is supporting its ELL students with incredible success.
You may be wondering what that means. As an EL student reaches high levels of English proficiency, schools must determine when they are ready to exit from English as a second language (ESL) program. Exiting from ESL services is based on a student’s proficiency in all areas of language—listening, speaking, reading, and writing. While the decision is based on the careful scrutiny by educators and parents, WIDA scores must support the decision to exit a student.
"For a student to exit the program, they have to demonstrate proficiency on the WIDA ACCESS examination which is given by the state in the spring. When a student reaches that level, it means they are able to access instruction in a classroom without receiving ESL services," said Federal Programs Coordinator Ted Fuller. "The state average for students who are exiting the program is at 17.6%--and Germantown is proud that we have an exit rate of 52%, which means that our students are receiving outstanding services and that our schools are invested in helping these students to gain proficiency," he said.
The majority of Germantown students are exiting within the first two-to-three years of the program which indicates the importance and emphasis of support EL students are receiving in both the program and their regular education classrooms.
“Tennessee students speak more than 140 languages, and it is our responsibility to ensure all of these students are supported in both their English language development and in their academic growth,” Commissioner McQueen said. “These results show encouraging progress and that what we are doing to support our students is working. In Tennessee, we are committed to the growth and development of all students, and through our continued efforts we will be able to better support our English learners.”