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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2019003 Student and school characteristics associated with academic performance and English language proficiency among English learner students in grades 3–8 in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) has witnessed an increase in the number of English learner students in grades K–12 over recent years, with students coming from more diverse backgrounds in race/ethnicity, countries of origin, and native language. This requires more support from the district to meet diverse needs in terms of languages, cultures, and educational supports. The Cleveland Partnership for English Learner Success—a partnership among CMSD's Multilingual Multicultural Education office, the research office and researchers from Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest—has prioritized identifying English learner student and school characteristics associated with student achievement and language proficiency. This will provide a step toward improving district and school supports for English learner students. Student and school data from 2011/12 through 2016/17 were obtained from the district administrative records. The study examined means and percentages of student and school characteristics and student achievement of English learner students in grades 3–8 from school years 2011/12 through 2016/17. The study team examined these characteristics for English learner students in grades 3–8 each year separately, enabling the team to identify stable patterns while helping to uncover changes over time.
6/11/2019
REL 2018286 Initial Spanish proficiency and English language development among Spanish-speaking English learner students in New Mexico
The purpose of this study was to understand whether differences in initial kindergarten Spanish proficiency for English learner students were linked to disparities in attaining English proficiency and academic achievement in reading and math by grades 4 and 5. The study followed two cohorts of Spanish-speaking English learner students from four districts in New Mexico from kindergarten through grades 4 and 5. The 2010 cohort included students enrolled in kindergarten in 2009/10 and followed through grade 5, and represented 25 percent of the Spanish-speaking English learner students enrolled in bilingual programs in the state. The 2011 cohort included students enrolled in kindergarten in 2010/11 and followed through grade 4, and represented 35 percent of the Spanish-speaking English learner students enrolled in bilingual programs in the state. The descriptive study examined cumulative rates of English learner students progressing toward fluent English proficiency. The study also examined students’ demonstration of grade-level readiness on standardized academic assessments in math and English language arts in grades 4 and 5, particularly for those students who were successfully reclassified to fluent English proficient, and how they compared to state averages at the same grade level. Results were reported out according to three different levels of initial kindergarten Spanish proficiency: low, medium and high. The study found that a considerable portion of English learner students in both cohorts started kindergarten at the lowest English proficiency level, but that results favored students who started kindergarten with high Spanish proficiency. Results also indicated that grade-level readiness for grades 4 and 5 on NMPARCC English language arts and math scores for students who achieved English proficiency in grades 4 and 5 were generally lower than statewide averages for all students. However, students with high kindergarten Spanish proficiency were more likely to have higher English proficiency in kindergarten, to be reclassified to fluent English proficient by grades 4 or 5, and to be demonstrate grade-level readiness in English language arts and math in grades 4 and 5 compared to students with low or medium kindergarten Spanish proficiency levels. Results suggest that differentiated annual targets for English language proficiency progress based on results from the kindergarten Spanish proficiency assessment might produce more accurate annual growth targets for English learner students, and that those Spanish proficiency assessments could serve as a flag for targeting students with a higher risk of struggling to gain English and academic proficiency in elementary school.
1/23/2018
REL 2018280 Time to proficiency for Hispanic English learner students in Texas
This study examined the time it took for English learner students in Texas public schools to reach key educational outcomes for the first time, including attaining English proficiency and satisfactory performance on reading and mathematics state assessments. The study also estimated the probability of attaining these outcomes based on several student characteristics (e.g., initial English language proficiency, receipt of special education services, and being overaged at grade 1 entry) and educational experiences (e.g., the type of English learner program: English as a Second Language or bilingual). Historical data from the Texas Education Agency was used to construct a cohort of Hispanic students who entered Texas public schools in grade 1 as English learner students in the 2005/06 school year (85,611 students). Students were followed for up to eight years, through the 2012/13 school year, including while classified as English learner students and after exit from English learner status. Discrete-time survival analyses were used to estimate the probability of attaining outcomes over time.
11/3/2017
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 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
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
REL 2017172 English learner students' readiness for academic success: The predictive potential of English language proficiency assessment scores in Arizona and Nevada
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the English language proficiency (ELP) assessment scores of English learner students in Arizona and Nevada and the students' subsequent performance on academic content tests in two key subject areas: English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. This study provided analyses focused on two samples of students: a cohort of students who were in grade 3 (elementary) in 2009/10 and a cohort of students who were in grade 6 (middle school) in 2009/10. In general, the study found that the higher the English learner students' English language proficiency level, the higher were their passing rates on the academic content assessments. In order to have at least a 50-percent probability of passing the academic content assessments in the two years following the ELP assessment, grade 6 English learner students in both Arizona and Nevada needed an ELP scale score that exceeded the threshold for English language proficiency, the minimum level for reclassification as fluent English proficient students and placement full time in mainstream, English-only classes. To have a 50-percent probability of passing the academic content assessments, grade 6 English learner students had to score between 1 and 46 scale score points above the reclassification minimum, depending on the state and academic content test. On the other hand, grade 3 English learner students in Arizona and Nevada did not have to reach the proficiency threshold on the initial ELP assessment in order to have a 50-percent or higher probability of passing the ELA and mathematics content tests in the two years following the assessment. To have a 50-percent probability of passing the academic content assessments, grade 3 English learner students could score between 15 and 46 scale score points below the reclassification minimum, depending on the state and academic content test. The probability of passing the ELA and math content tests when scoring at the minimum level for reclassification for grade 3 English learner students was always higher than for those in grade 6: at least 39 percentage points higher in math and at least 55 percentage points in ELA.
10/13/2016
NCES 2016667REV Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2012/2014: U.S. National Supplement Public Use Data Files-Household
The PIAAC 2012/14 U.S. PUF contains individual unit record data including both responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment from both the first and second U.S. PIAAC data collections, completed in 2012 and 2014, respectively. In September 2017, the PUF was reissued, with an Errata Sheet detailing the revisions. Statistical disclosure control treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. For more details on the PUF, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC Technical Report (NCES 2016-036REV).

How to get PIAAC Restricted Use Data.
9/15/2016
NCES 2016668REV Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2012/2014: U.S. National Supplement Restricted Use Data Files-Household
The PIAAC 2012/14 U.S. RUF contains individual unit record data including both responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment from both the first and second U.S. PIAAC data collections, completed in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Statistical disclosure control treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. In addition to the variables in the PUF (NCES 2014-667REV), the RUF contains detailed versions of variables and additional data collected through U.S. specific questionnaire routing. The RUF can be accessed through a restricted use license agreement with the National Center for Education Statistics. For more details on the RUF, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC Technical Report (NCES 2016-036REV).
9/15/2016
REL 2016154 The achievement progress of English learner students in Nevada
The purpose of this study was to examine the cumulative progress of English learner students in Nevada in English language proficiency (ELP) and in academic content knowledge in both reading and mathematics. This study identified students in grades kindergarten, 3, and 6 who were designated as English learner students in 2006/07 and examined their progress from 2006/07 through 2011/12 on the ELP test, the reading content test, and the math content test as well as student characteristics. The analytic sample included all students identified as English learner students who were enrolled in the state's public schools in the designated grade of the first year of the cohort, progressed to the next grade level each year, and who had the required test data throughout the six years being analyzed. Each cohort consisted of a separate sample of students. The annual cumulative numbers and percentages of English learner students who met each progress criterion were calculated. The analyses were for each English learner grade-level cohort as a whole, as well as separately by the four student characteristics at the start of the study (2006/07): ELP level, designation as eligible for special education services, eligibility for a school lunch program, and gender. Results indicate that after six years, more than 90 percent of the English learner students scored at or above the required level of reclassified as fluent English proficient on the Nevada ELP test. In each of the three grade-level cohorts, the overall cumulative passing percentage was highest for Nevada's ELP test, followed by the reading test, and then the math test. The largest differences in cumulative passing rates were associated with eligibility for special education services and initial ELP level. Higher grade students had lower cumulative passing percentages on all three tests compared to lower grade students. This study's findings identify subgroups of English learner students who may need more support to attain at least the expected minimum levels of academic achievement. All English learner students who are eligible for special education services will likely need additional support to be successful, and this support may need to vary by specific subgroups of learning disabilities. The study's findings also suggest that higher grade students who are eligible for special education services will need different support than what the higher grade students received during the study period if they are going to achieve even minimal levels of academic achievement in reading and math.
8/25/2016
REL 2016155 The achievement progress of English learner students in Utah
The purpose of this study was to examine the cumulative progress of English learner students in Utah in English language proficiency (ELP) and in academic content knowledge in both English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. This study identified students in grades kindergarten, 3, and 6 who were designated as English learner students in 2006/07 and examined their progress from 2006/07 through 2011/12 on the ELP test, the ELA content test, and the math content test, as well as student characteristics. The analytic sample included all students identified as English learner students who were enrolled in the state's public schools in the designated grade of the first year of the cohort, progressed to the next grade level each year, and who had the required test data throughout the six years being analyzed. Each cohort consisted of a separate sample of students. The annual cumulative numbers and percentages of English learner students who met each progress criterion were calculated. The analyses were for each English learner grade-level cohort as a whole, as well as separately by the four student characteristics at the start of the study (2006/07): ELP level, designation as eligible for special education services, eligibility for a school lunch program, and gender. Results indicate that after six years, more than 90 percent of the English learner students scored at or above the required level of reclassified as fluent English proficient on the Utah ELP test. In each of the three grade-level cohorts, the overall cumulative passing percentage was highest for Utah's ELP test, followed by the ELA test, and then the math test. The largest differences in cumulative passing rates were associated with eligibility for special education services and initial ELP level. Higher grade students had lower cumulative passing percentages on all three tests compared to lower grade students. This study's findings identify subgroups of English learner students who may need more support to attain at least the expected minimum levels of academic achievement. All English learner students who are eligible for special education services will likely need additional support to be successful, and this support may need to vary by specific subgroups of learning disabilities. The study's findings also seem to suggest that higher grade students who are eligible for special education services will need different support than what the higher grade students received during the study period if they are going to achieve even minimal levels of academic achievement in ELA and math.
8/25/2016
REL 2016149 Using computer-adaptive assessments of literacy to monitor the progress of English learner students
The purpose of this study was to examine (a) how teachers and school staff individually administer computer-adaptive assessments of literacy to English learner students in grades 3–5, and (b) how they use the assessments to monitor students' growth. Because adaptive assessments maximize precision of information while minimizing time spent gaining it, they are particularly valuable for students whose performance is outside typical grade-level norms such as English learner students. Three elementary schools with high proportions of English learner students participated in the study. Participating students were at the two lowest levels on the state oral language proficiency measure. At the beginning of the year there were 117 participating students and by the end of the year 102 remained at the same school. To address the first question, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southeast staff observed the September training and the fall, winter, and spring administration of the Florida Center for Reading Research Reading Assessment (FRA). To address the second question, teachers and school staff individually administered the FRA to participating students in the fall, winter, and spring. They discussed their observations of students' performance during test administration and students' score reports with REL staff after each assessment period. Findings indicated that teachers in grades 3–5 can be trained to individually administer computer-adaptive assessments of literacy to their English learner students three times a year and to participate in data chats after each assessment period to discuss translation of scores to instruction. The report provides recommendations that may aid districts in implementing such adaptive assessments of literacy to monitor the progress of English learner students.
6/28/2016
REL 2015092 Time to Reclassification: How Long Does It Take English Language Learners in the Washington Road Map School Districts To Develop English Proficiency?
Seven high-poverty, diverse districts in Seattle (WA) and South King County are seeking to increase academic proficiency and graduation rates of their English language learner (ELL) students. To meet that goal, the districts have joined together in Road Map for Education Results, which is working with REL Northwest to better understand the needs of their ELL populations. Road Map members specifically want to know how long it takes ELL students in their districts to be reclassified as former ELLs, as well as how this varies by students’ grade level, English proficiency at entry into the U.S. school system, and other student characteristics.
8/6/2015
REL 2014021 Stated Briefly: The correlates of academic performance for English language learner students in a New England district
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. The study examined student and program characteristics that are related to English proficiency and content area achievement for English language learner (ELL) students in one urban district in Connecticut. Study authors found that ELL students in special education had English proficiency scores significantly lower than the mean for all ELL students in all grades, and that students' English proficiency scores were associated with both math and reading performance in all grades. Results also showed that there were no clear patterns in the relationship between the type of ELL program attended and students' English proficiency, math, or reading scores.
8/26/2014
REL 2014020 The Correlates of Academic Performance for English Language Learner Students in a New England District
This study examined student and program characteristics that are related to English proficiency and content area achievement for English language learner (ELL) students in one urban district in Connecticut. The study found that ELL students in special education had English proficiency scores significantly lower than the mean for all ELL students in all grades, and that students’ English proficiency scores were associated with both math and reading performance in all grades. Results also showed that there were no clear patterns in the relationship between the type of ELL program attended and students' English proficiency, math, or reading scores.
8/26/2014
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