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The progress of "English-learners" in California's elementary and secondary schools has slipped slightly, the latest round of proficiency tests has found.

Tom Torlakson
, the state superintendent of schools, blamed reductions in school spending for the downward trend.

"These results demonstrate that the valiant efforts of teachers and school administrators to help our students become fluent in English are being undermined by budget cuts that are crowding classes and shortening the school year," Torlakson said in a statement.

"For years we've been asking our schools to do more with less, and somehow they have managed to deliver. That cannot go on forever. The only way to achieve and sustain the excellence we want for English learners and all students is to invest in our schools again."

The slippage from a year earlier was confined to English-learner students that testing found to be "early advanced" and "advanced" in proficiency. There were fractional gains in other categories, and Torlakson noted that the upper levels of English proficiency were larger than they were four years earlier.

The full results are available here.


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