Our best students and our worst students are likely to speak English as a second language.
In California, children from non-English-speaking homes who learn English fluently before they start school become bilingual stars, outperforming every other group on every academic measure.
Similarly, those who achieve English proficiency in elementary school outperform native English-speakers through the 7th grade. Students reclassified as proficient are more likely to pass the high school exit exam on their first try. They also reach higher: Half of reclassified students, but only a third of native English-speakers, take the sequence of college-prep courses required by…
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