Imagine trying to read and solve math problems in a school where you don’t speak the language of your teacher and classmates. That’s the challenge facing roughly 65,000 students in Minnesota, or 8 percent of the student population, who are learning English as they go through the school.
Despite some recent improvements in their test scores, English learners, whose numbers are growing, perform far below the state average in reading, math and science. Only slightly more than half graduate from high school in four years. To boost English learners’ performance, some Minnesota schools are trying new approaches designed to help them more quickly grasp the language. Among them is Kennedy Elementary in Willmar, Minn., which has a growing number of students from Somalia.
Read more at Minnesota Public Radio.