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A five-year evaluation of Proposition 227, conducted by the American Institutes for Research and West Ed (Parrish et al., 2006), was released in January 2006.

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In 91 of those districts, English learners represent more than a quarter of all students and in another 37 districts, ELLs fill half the seats.

Beyond any social implications, the performance of these students can carry a disproportionate amount of weight in an educational era dominated by No Child Left Behind.

These include staff capacity to address ELL students' linguistic and cognitive needs; school wide focus on English language development and standards-based instruction; shared priorities and expectations; and systematic, ongoing assessment with use of data to guide instruction.

The work of Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas of George Mason University seems to challenge the assertion that there's no one path to academic excellence for ELL students.

According to the Urban Institute, two-thirds of ELL students nationally come from low-income families.