The latest round of federal data released this week sent five Glendale Unified schools into the purgatory that is "Program Improvement" after English language learners failed to meet certain testing benchmarks.
On the face of it, the designation seems dubious, since Program Improvement is reserved for schools that fail to meet escalating test score benchmarks in consecutive years. But it's not as if Roosevelt and Toll middle schools and Hoover and Glendale high schools' scores went backward; in fact, they made significant improvements — just not by enough.
All of this can be tied to the ever-moving federal goals that continue to get higher through 2014, when all student groups are supposed to be 100% proficient in English and math. For diverse districts like Glendale Unified then, the challenge of meeting these escalating benchmarks will only get harder as the pool of children from immigrant and non-English-speaking families continues to get replenished amid tougher and tougher goals.