Panel Paper: A Quantitative Analysis of Correlates of English Learner Success in California

Thursday, November 8, 2018
8212 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Julian Betts1, Karen Volz Bachofer1, Joseph Hayes2, Laura Hill2, Andrew Lee2 and Andrew Zau1, (1)University of California, San Diego, (2)Public Policy Institute of California

The paper uses longitudinal student data to study the correlates of academic progress of English Learners (ELs) in the Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts, which together account for roughly 15% of ELs in California and 5% in the nation. We focus on two types of ELs of special policy concern – Long Term ELs who have completed at least five years in the district without being reclassified as English-fluent, and Late Arriving ELs who arrive in the district during secondary school with low levels of English proficiency. We study in detail the fidelity with which schools assign ELs to English Language Development (ELD) classes according to each districts’ EL Master Plans. We then model gains in English and math performance, and on the state’s test of EL language proficiency, as a function of a school’s fidelity of implementation to the course placement criteria. We also consider two other types of factors: multiple measures of the demographic makeup of the school’s student body — including the percentage of students who are ELs and the diversity of languages spoken — and indicators of various programs and supports the two districts provide to ELs.