Before starting the ninth grade in California, Hmong refugee Ong Vue, 15, had never set foot in a classroom and spoke no English. Four years later, she plans to attend community college and become an elementary school teacher, but despite successes like Vue's, lackluster standardized test scores at her school, where more than half the student body is composed of English-language learners, prevented her school from reaching adequate yearly progress for six years. Educators say it's unfair to judge schools based on the proficiency of students who have had little academic preparation.

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