Students who learn English in California schools and go on to become proficient in the language are performing very well academically.

That's finding of a 10-year study by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Researcher Laura Hill says by the end of fifth grade, students who were reclassified as proficient in English become top academic performers.

"They did not lose any ground, relative to native English speakers, even all the way through high school," Hill said. 

Hill recommends allowing districts to reclassify students based on a single test and use criteria that's less rigorous so that fewer students are prevented from being reclassified.