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English Learner Reclassification to Fluent English Proficient: Meeting Criteria, Roadblocks, Opportunities, and Consequences, District 1 Years 1 and 2 Findings. Practitioner Research Brief 1.

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Author(s): Estrada, Peggy

For English learners reclassifying to fluent English proficient signifies reaching a milestone indicating the ability to function in mainstream classes without support. Employing a longitudinal, multimethod approach, I describe patterns of reclassification using administrative data for 7 cohorts of students over 2 years in a large urban district. I identify facilitating and impeding factors undergirding those patterns using staff interviews and policy documents. For the stable population of ELs in the grades studied, a fifth to a quarter met reclassification criteria. However, 8% to 9% of these students were not reclassified. A good piece of news is that in Year 2, a slightly higher percentage of ELs met criteria, despite the fact that they were the lower performing students who continued in EL status. Remarkably in both years, for nearly an additional one-quarter of ELs, reclassification may be within reach because they were missing only one criterion. Surprisingly, for these students meeting the CELDT criterion was the major impeding barrier until middle school, when the CST-ELA became the major impeding barrier. Several high-payoff opportunities to increase reclassification are detailed in this report. Taken together, they could yield significant increases to reclassification--an outcome staff would likely support because they typically view reclassifying before middle school as urgent. The findings from all data sources, quantitative analysis of EL versus non-EL course credits earned, and EL concentration in classrooms, staff reports, and EL Curricular Streams indicate that remaining EL in secondary school restricts access to the academic core, the full curriculum, and non-EL students and that reclassification acts as a gateway to these opportunities. Staff articulated negative academic and social consequences of continuing EL status. Teachers reported a desire to instruct ELs more effectively and identified instructional challenges for providing access to the core and professional development needs. Staff also offered ways of increasing access to the core content and non-ELs, which included mainstreaming high-performing ELs and integrating ELs with the full range of non-ELs to increase opportunity to learn and social inclusion and impede behavioral problems.

ERIC Descriptors: English Language Learners; School Districts; Classification; Language Proficiency; English (Second Language); Core Curriculum; Mixed Methods Research; Longitudinal Studies; Interviews; Principals; Elementary School Teachers; Secondary School Teachers; Alignment (Education); Nongraded Student Evaluation; Mainstreaming; Credits; Curriculum Design; Elementary School Students; High School Students; Urban Schools; Educational Policy; Evaluation Criteria; Barriers; Academic Achievement; Teacher Attitudes; Faculty Development; Social Integration; Language Tests; Middle School Students

Source: Grantee Submission

ERIC Number: ED555260

Record Type: Non-Journal

Pages: 11

Abstractor: As Provided

Publication Type: Reports - Research

Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools; Junior High Schools

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Author:Estrada, Peggy
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2014
Words:522
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