Large and growing numbers of students in the United States come from homes where English is not the primary language. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (2002), the number of English-language learners continued to increase in both absolute terms and as a percentage of total student enrollment in 2000-2001. An estimated 4,584,946 English-language learners were enrolled in public schools, representing approximately 9.6% of the total school enrollment in prekindergarten through Grade 12. Since the 1990-1991 school year, the English-language learner population has grown approximately 105%, whereas the general school population has grown by only 12%. However, the schools and, more generally, the educational system have not been adequately prepared to respond to the rapidly changing student demographics. Such conditions combine and probably interact to produce educational outcomes that demand attention. For example, for the 41 State Educational Agencies (SEAs) reporting on both the participation and the success of English-language learners in English reading comprehension-the ultimate purpose of readingonly 18.7% of the students assessed scored above the state-established norm.1