In the coming school year, we must get serious about giving English language learners a better chance. Not even 1 percent of the hundreds of English language learners in Hempstead passed the recent state tests in English and math.

These students' language skills and cultural fluency are advantages in our multilingual, global economy. It's a great loss that many are shut out of a high school diploma because they aren't getting the right support and because of an overreliance on tests for graduation.

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The state Education Department and Regents are doing the right things by developing a new blueprint for educating English language learners, updating regulations and starting discussions on expanding pathways to graduation.

Steven Choi, Manhattan

Lucas Sanchez, Hempstead

Editor's note: The writers are, respectively, the director of the New York Immigration Coalition and the Long Island director of New York Communities for Change.