Programs for English language learners falling short in Oregon

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Oregon's programs for students learning to speak English are falling short on all four federal benchmarks according to a state report out Thursday.

At least 60 percent of Oregon's English Language Learners are supposed to advance one level per year. Only 45 percent advanced last year.

Oregon also didn't meet two targets related to students completing language support programs.

State standardized test results were below benchmark, too.

Portland, Salem-Keizer and Beaverton missed all four measures. Only 10 — relatively small — Oregon districts met all four.

David Bautista runs the state's new Office of Educational Equity, formed in part to help English learners. He emphasizes better second-language training for teachers. Easier said than done, he says.

"You look at the master teacher — he or she is going to tell you — my first two or three years, were so difficult that I wasn't able to apply as I learned that strategy," Bautista says.

New standards and tests are coming for English learners. Bautista says those could lead to a dip in results.