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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCES 2017051 Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2017
This report profiles current conditions and recent trends in the education of students by racial and ethnic group. It presents a selection of indicators that examine differences in educational participation and attainment of students in the racial/ethnic groups of White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Two or more races. The report summarizes data on topics such as demographics; preprimary, elementary, and secondary participation; student achievement; student behaviors and persistence in education, postsecondary education, and outcomes of education.
7/18/2017
REL 2017261 Are two commonly used early warning indicators accurate predictors of dropout for English learner students? Evidence from six districts in Washington state
This study examined the graduation and dropout rates of current and former English learner students compared to those who had never been English learners in six school districts in the south King County area of Washington state. It also looked at the accuracy of the early warning indicators used to predict dropping out--such as attendance, course failures, and suspensions--for different groups of English learner and non-English learner students. The six districts are part of the Road Map Project, an ambitious cradle-to-career initiative that seeks to double the number of students on track to graduate from college or earn a career credential between 2010 and 2020. As part of the initiative, the districts have been using a common set of early warning indicators since 2011. The authors examined up to eight years of data on a total of 9,595 students who entered high school in 2008/09 in one of the six study districts. This report highlights notable differences in graduation and dropout rates among subgroups of English learner students. It also finds that the early warning indicators used by the six districts were poor predictors of dropout for all students, but particularly for newcomer English learner students. This may be evidence of the importance of selecting and validating indicators specific to the population for which they will be used. Given that the accuracy of the Road Map Project indicators varied for subgroups of English learner students, other states and districts may want to examine the accuracy of their own indicators for different student populations. If early warning indicators are weaker for a specific subgroup of English learner students, then teachers, counselors, and others may want to monitor the needs of that group in other ways.
3/21/2017
REL 2017260 Academic achievement and classification of students from the Freely Associated States in Guam schools
This report from Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific examines academic achievement, English language learner, and special education classification rates for students from the Freely Associated States (FAS) as compared to other students in Guam. To compare FAS and non-FAS academic achievement and English language learner and special education classification rates, REL Pacific used information about students who took the Stanford Achievement Test, 10th edition (SAT-10) exams during the 2013/14 school year, the only available dataset that included all variables of interest: performance outcomes, ethnicity, and program classification in Guam schools. The study found that more than 21.0 percent of test takers had an FAS ethnicity, and while few test takers scored at proficient or advanced levels on the SAT-10 sub-tests, FAS students were less likely than non-FAS students to receive a proficient or advanced score across all subtests. In addition, 85 percent of FAS test takers were classified as English learner students, compared to 59.5 percent of non-FAS test takers. However, the percentage of test takers classified as special education was lower for FAS students (4.2 percent) than for non-FAS students (5.8 percent).
3/16/2017
REL 2017255 Stated Briefly: English learner student characteristics and time to reclassification: An example from Washington state
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the findings from another report (REL 2016-128).This study examined how long it typically takes English learner students to become proficient in English and how this time differs by student characteristics, such as gender, home language, or initial proficiency in English. The authors analyzed state data for 16,957 English learner students who entered kindergarten between 2005/06 and 2011/12 in seven cohorts. The students attended seven school districts that comprise the Road Map Project, an initiative designed to double the number of students in South King County (Washington) who are on track to graduate from college or earn a career credential by 2020. The study looked at five language groups in the region, each of which comprises at least 3 percent of the total sample: Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, Russian and Ukrainian combined, and Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese combined. All other languages, 160 in total, were combined into an "other language" category. The findings show that students who entered kindergarten as English learners took a median of 3.8 years to be reclassified by Washington state as former English learners. Those who entered kindergarten with advanced English language proficiency were more likely to be reclassified than English learner students with basic or intermediate English proficiency. Also, female English learner students were more likely to be reclassified than male English learner students. Speakers of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Russian and Ukrainian were more likely to be reclassified than Somali or Spanish speakers. In addition to contributing to the research base, the study findings may be of interest to state education agencies as they create new targets and standards for English language proficiency. State agencies may wish to consider taking initial English language proficiency into account when determining appropriate targets for federal accountability measures, for example by setting longer expected times to reclassification and providing additional support to students entering school with basic or intermediate levels of English language proficiency. Many states are also implementing new standards for college and career readiness and overhauling their assessment and accountability systems, both of which involve setting additional targets for English learner students. A better understanding of the factors related to variation in time to proficiency may allow states to establish targets that take particular factors, such as initial English language proficiency, into account.
3/7/2017
NCES 2017286 ECLS-K:2011 Public-Use Kindergarten-Second Grade Data File and Electronic Codebook
The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011) is a longitudinal study following a nationally representative sample of students from their kindergarten year to the spring of 2016, when most of the students are expected to be in fifth grade. This public-use data file includes information collected during the fall and spring of the 2010-11 school year, when all of the students were in kindergarten, the fall and spring of the 2011-12 school year, when most of the students were in first grade, and the fall and spring of the 2012-13 school year, when most of the students were in second grade. The file includes information collected from the students, their parents/guardians, their teachers, and their school administrators in the first two years of the study. It also includes information collected in the spring of 2011 from their kindergarten-year before- and after-school care providers.
3/1/2017
REL 2017198 Home Language Survey Data Quality Self-Assessment
Most state departments of education across the U.S. require or recommend that districts use a home language survey as the first step in a multi-step process for identifying students who qualify for English learner student services. However, existing home language surveys may not reveal accurate information about students' language or students' exposure to English language and literacy and, therefore, can actually contribute to the misidentification of English learner students. In response to this challenge, Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands worked with state and district practitioners to develop the Home Language Survey Data Quality Self-Assessment Tool. This 15-minute self-assessment is designed for use by state leaders who coordinate programs to support students' English language acquisition and achievement in districts, as well as for district leaders who oversee the English learner student identification process in schools. The tool supports the collection of high-quality home language survey data by gathering information from district English learner student coordinators and prompts self-assessment of key practices that impact the quality of home language survey data. The report includes a guiding Data Quality Framework and presents the complete self-assessment tool along with description of how it was developed, how to adapt and administer the self-assessment, and how to engage stakeholders in analyzing and interpreting self-assessment results to identify opportunities for improvement. This engagement at both state and district levels will inform decisions that can contribute to the collection of more accurate data regarding English learner students.
2/28/2017
REL 2017237 Graduation outcomes of students who entered New York City public schools in grade 5 or 6 as English learner students
This study describes high school graduation outcomes for students who entered New York City schools in grade 5 or 6 as English learner students. It uses longitudinal administrative data from New York City public schools to focus on 1,734 students who entered New York City schools and were initially classified as English learner students in grades 5 and 6 in the 2003/04 school year. This study followed these cohorts through their expected years of graduation (2009/10 and 2010/11) to estimate on-time graduation rates and for two additional years (that is, through 2011/12 and 2012/13) to estimate five-year and six-year graduation rates. To determine if the differences in graduation outcomes between the sub-groups of long-term English learner students and short-term English learner students were statistically significant, logistic regression was used. Approximately 64 percent of students in these cohorts graduated from high school on time while an additional 15 percent graduated within six years of entering grade 9, yielding a six-year cohort graduation rate of 79 percent. Students in these cohorts earned a variety of diploma types including the standard Regents diploma (41 percent), the more rigorous Advanced Regents diploma (19 percent), and the less rigorous Local diploma (19 percent). Additional exploratory regression analyses indicated that long-term English learner students had statistically significantly higher probabilities of earning a Local diploma and statistically significantly lower probabilities of earning a Regents diploma or an Advanced Regents diploma than short-term English learner students. The differences in diploma types earned by long-term and short-term English learner students are not explained by differences in their background characteristics. This study has implications for understanding graduation patterns of English learners. Six-year graduation rates may be particularly important to consider when describing the graduation outcomes of students who enter school as English learner students. Policy makers should explore the implications for college readiness of the higher rate of English learner students receiving the less rigorous Local diploma versus a Regents diploma or an Advanced Regents diploma. Future efforts to investigate the extent to which districts and schools are meeting the needs of English learner students need to be careful to track students over time, regardless of whether they have met standards for English proficiency.
2/28/2017
REL 2017222 How do Algebra I course repetition rates vary among English learner students by length of time to reclassification as English proficient?
This study examines the variation in performance and course repetition among different English proficiency status student subgroups. Using data from one high school district in California and five of its seven feeder elementary school districts, the authors found that long-term English learner students who were never reclassified to English proficient have the highest rates of repeating algebra I at 67.5 percent, followed by long-term English learner students reclassified to English proficient after grade 6 at 58.6 percent, those who were never designated as English learner students at 44.2 percent, and finally English learner students reclassified before grade 7 at 30.2 percent. Among students who repeat algebra I, this study found that English learner students reclassified before grade 7 tended to perform the best, with 52.0 percent of these students earning an average grade of C or better when repeating. Higher proportions of these students also completed algebra II or higher with an average grade of C or better, at 20.4 percent. In comparison, long-term English learner students never reclassified and those reclassified to English proficient after grade 6 had the lowest rates of earning an average grade of C or better when repeating algebra I, and they had the lowest proportion of students to complete algebra II or higher with an average grade of C or better by grade 12. A similar ranking pattern was also observed among students who never repeated algebra I. These findings show that long-term English learner students and those reclassified to English proficient after grade 6 tend to struggle with algebra I in comparison to other students, and that English learner students reclassified before grade 7 tend to perform the best—even compared with students who were never classified as English learner students. Additional resources may need to be directed toward long-term English learner students and those reclassified after grade 6. Such resources can include differentiated support based on student needs before students enroll in the course as well as while they are enrolled in the course.
2/28/2017
REL 2017243 Stated Briefly: How long does it take English learner students entering school in kindergarten in Washington Road Map districts to develop English proficiency?
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the selected findings from a previously released report (REL 2015-092). This brief describes findings on the percentage of English learner students entering school in kindergarten in seven Washington school districts who developed the English proficiency necessary to be reclassified as former English learner students and the average time to reclassification. Eight-five percent of English learner students who entered kindergarten between 2000/01 and 2007/08 achieved reclassification by 2012/13. It took those students an average of 3.2 years to be reclassified. Student characteristics--such as English proficiency at entry to kindergarten, gender, home language, country of birth, race/ethnicity, and special education status--were associated with reclassification. The results of this study can help school districts set realistic expectations for the time it takes English learner students to achieve English proficiency and may help state education agencies as they create new accountability targets to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.
2/14/2017
REL 2017220 Advanced course enrollment and performance in Washington state: Comparing Spanish-speaking students with other language minority students and English-only speakers
This study examined differences in advanced course enrollment and performance for groups of language minority students and native English speakers in Washington state high schools. With data from more than a million students enrolled in Washington state high schools between 2009/10 and 2012/13, the study used regression analysis and calculations of percentages and averages to highlight outcomes for Spanish-speaking students—the largest group of language minority students in the state—and for students from other language backgrounds, including native English speakers. The study found that Spanish-speaking students, regardless of their English learner status, take fewer advanced courses than English-only speakers and speakers of other languages. Spanish-speaking students also earn lower grades in advanced courses than non–Spanish-speaking students, but these differences disappear when students have the same grade point average and test scores in the prior year and attend the same school. In addition, schools with the lowest percentage of Spanish-speaking English learner students offer more advanced courses than schools with higher percentages of these students. The findings suggest that school districts may want to identify gaps and monitor progress toward the goal of equitable advanced course offerings for all students. In doing so, they should take into account the fact that language minority students are a heterogeneous group and that different supports and approaches may be needed for students who speak different languages.
1/10/2017
NCES 2016151 Public-Use Data Files and Documentation (FRSS 107): Programs and Services for High School English Learners
This file contains data from a fast-response survey titled "Programs and Services for High School English Learners." This survey provides the first nationally representative data on programs and services for high school English learners (ELs). NCES released the results of this survey in the First Look report “Programs and Services for High School English Learners in Public School Districts: 2015 –16” (NCES 2016-150).

Questionnaires and cover letters were mailed to the superintendent of each sampled district in September 2015. The letter stated the purpose of the study and requested that the questionnaire be completed by the person(s) in the district most knowledgeable about programs and services for English learners at the high school level. Respondents were asked to respond for the current 2015–16 school year. Respondents were offered options of completing the survey on paper or online. Telephone follow-up for survey nonresponse and data clarification was initiated in October 2015 and completed in February 2016. The weighted response rate was 89 percent.

Respondents reported about programs and services for high school ELs, including instructional approaches, newcomer programs, online or computer-based programs, and programs or services (e.g., tutoring) designed specifically for high school ELs.
12/29/2016
REL 2017205 High school graduation rates across English learner student subgroups in Arizona
This study examined observed and predicted four-year high school graduation rates among native English speakers (students who have never been designated as English learners) and four English learner subgroups in Arizona: long-term English learner students; new English learner students; recently proficient former English learner students; and long-term proficient former English learner students. These student subgroups were determined by the amount of time a student spent as a designated English learner student and when a former English learner student was reclassified as fluent English proficient prior to high school.

The observed four-year high school graduation rate was calculated for each student subgroup as the percentage of students in each student subgroup who graduated within four years of entering grade 9. The predicted four-year high school graduation rate was calculated for each student subgroup using logistic regression, and adjusted for student demographic characteristics and prior achievement.

Results show that the largest difference in observed graduation rates, 36.1 percentage points, occurred between never English learner students and long-term English learner students. When comparing students with similar demographic characteristics only, the differences in predicted graduation rates across the student subgroups were about the same as those in observed graduation rates; however, when comparing students with both similar demographic characteristics and similar prior academic achievement, the gaps in graduation rates across the subgroups narrowed to a maximum of 5.5 percentage points. These results suggest that prior academic achievement, rather than demographic characteristics, explained most of the differences in graduation rates across the student subgroups and may have been a key factor driving graduation outcomes. To improve high school graduation rate for all the students, policymakers and educators might consider differentiating programs and practices for the needs of these English learner subgroups and developing programs that focus on promoting students’ academic achievement prior to high school. More research is needed about how to help high school English learners (long-term and new English learner students) to learn both academic English and subject matter content knowledge during high school.
11/30/2016
REL 2017187 Advanced course enrollment and performance among English learner students in Washington state
Taking advanced high school courses (for example, honors, Advanced Placement, and dual-credit courses that offer college credits in high school) can help prepare students for postsecondary education and careers. English learner students, however, face unique obstacles to taking advanced courses because they must divide their time between acquiring English proficiency and learning academic content. This descriptive study examines patterns in advanced coursetaking among current and former English learner students and never-English learner students in Washington state. Using state data about students enrolled in Washington public schools between 2009/10 and 2012/13, this study analyzed advanced course enrollment patterns and performance among the groups of students. It finds that where students attend school and their academic preparation account for much of the difference in advanced coursetaking. Specifically, current and former English learner students take 0.5 to 1 fewer advanced courses per school year than their never-English learner peers but enroll in advanced classes at similar rates when they are similarly prepared. The study also found that, compared to never-English learner students, current and former English learner students are 40 to 50 percent less likely to complete algebra I in middle school and students who pass this course in middle school take more than twice as many upper-level math courses as students who pass algebra I in grade 9. Current, former, and never-English learner students earn similar grades in those upper-level math courses. In addition, schools with the lowest percentages of current and former English learner students offer more advanced courses than other schools, even after accounting for school characteristics such as average standardized math and reading test scores. To improve access to advanced courses, schools, districts, and state agencies could consider investigating why current and former English learner students with high grade point averages or state math test scores are not enrolling in advanced courses as often as never-English learner students. They also might address language barriers and restrictive policies that could deter otherwise qualified students from taking advanced courses and expand advanced coursetaking opportunities at schools with high percentages of English learner students.
11/2/2016
NCES 2016080 ECLS-K:2011 Restricted-Use Kindergarten-Third Grade Data File and Electronic Codebook
This CD contains an electronic codebook (ECB), a restricted-use data file, and survey and ECB documentation for the fall and spring kindergarten, fall and spring first-grade, and fall spring second-grade, and spring third-grade rounds of data collection for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011). The CD includes the user’s manual developed for use with this data file, which focuses on the third-grade round of data collection, as well as the manual released with the Kindergarten Restricted-Use Data File and Electronic Codebook, the manual released with the Kindergarten-First Grade Restricted-Use Data File and Electronic Codebook, and the manual released with the Kindergarten-Second Grade Restricted-Use Data File and Electronic Codebook.
10/17/2016
REL 2017200 Patterns of English learner student reclassification in New York City public schools
This study was designed to describe patterns in reclassification from English learner to English proficient, how the patterns changed over time as students spent more time in New York City (NYC) schools, and how reclassification patterns differed by specific student characteristics. The study utilized existing administrative data for seven cohorts of students who entered New York City public schools as English learner students between the 2003/04 and 2010/11 school years. The seven cohorts were followed for periods ranging from two to nine years, through the 2011/12 school year. The analytic sample included 229,249 students who were initially classified as English learner students. The first research question used the subset of data for students who entered NYC schools as English learner students in kindergarten, with the goal of comparing the probability of reclassification as it changed over grade levels, through the end of grade 7. The second research question used these data combined with the data on students who entered after kindergarten to facilitate comparisons in time to reclassification between students who entered at different grade levels. To address the three student characteristics of interest (grade of entry, initial English proficiency, and disability status), three separate, parallel models were used to investigate the relationship between time to reclassification and each characteristic individually. In the analyses for both research questions, discrete-time survival analyses were used to estimate the probability of reclassification as it changed over time. Approximately half of the students who entered kindergarten in New York City public schools as English learner students were reclassified within four years (that is, by the end of their expected grade 3 year). English learner students who entered New York City public schools in grade 6 or 7 took a year longer to become reclassified than English learner students who entered in kindergarten.
10/13/2016
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