Learn More: English Learners


Variable Definitions:
EL Reclassification Rate: The percentage of students learning English as a second language who have been "reclassified" as fluent in English by their school districts
Total EL Students: The total number of students learning English as a second language
California Department of Education (CDE) Ed-Data/Data Quest
Years Available:
2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
Geographic Unit
Census Tract (aggregated to neighborhoods and cities)
Other Notes
The CDE reported a small number of census tracts as having more reclassified students than students in the class for the previous year. These census tracts will have a reclassification rate of slightly over 100% as a result. 

Why is this Variable Important to Measure?

English Learner Reclassification Rate
Students learning English as a second language are considered "reclassified" when their school districts deem that they are now fluent in English. School districts individually determine the criteria for fluency in English, so this measure is not necessarily uniform across districts. As of 2019, the majority of English learners (70%) are enrolled in the elementary grades. 
Reclassified English learners often outperform English-learning students on standardized tests and on-time grade progression, and often do as well as native English speakers in these measures. The percentage of English learning students who have been reclassified can be a measure of how well a community is integrating immigrant and non-English speaking populations into educational and social structures. It should be noted, however, that school districts with less rigorous fluency standards may have higher rates of reclassification than other communities with higher fluency standards. 

Hill, Laura E. et al. "Reclassification of English Learner Students in California." Public Policy Institute of California, January 2014. Link
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