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[Susan notes: Here's an important point: Making the distinction between real learning and better test preparation.]

Published in Los Angeles Daily News

To the editor

Local officials interpret the gains on an English test the CELDT) as evidence that English learners in the Los Angeles Unified School District are making real progress. The CELDT was introduced two years ago.

Research shows that when a new standardized test is introduced, scores are low at first, and then increase each year as teachers and students become more familiar with the format and contents. The CELDT is closely aligned with the California State Standards; teachers are very aware of what kinds of items will be on the test. It is not clear if the gains represent real learning or simply better test preparation.

Stephen Krashen, Emeritus Professor, USC

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