Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Role of Schools in the English Language Learner Achievement Gap

Fry, R. (2008, June 26). The role of schools in the english language learner achievement gap. Pew Hispanic Center. Retrieved from

Summary  This is a report put out by The Pew Hispanic Center a nonpartisan research organization.  It reports assessment data of English Language Learners from the five states with the highest ELL populations:  California, Arizona, New York, Florida, and Texas.  The results of the report were as I suspected, schools with a high number of ELLs had fewer ELLs score proficient on standardized tests.   These schools also tended to be in urban, low income areas.  The majority of students preforming below grade level received free or reduced lunch.  The report noted that white students in schools with a high number of ELLs scored lower overall than white students at schools with less ELLs.  

Reflection  I found the results of the report to be as expected.  However, I kept wondering about studies of schools like mine.  We have a population that is just about 50/50.  Half ELLS and half white students.  I am interested in looking at similar schools.  I know it is a recurring question of parents of white students when they are at a school with many ELLs:  Will my child get the attention they need?  Or will the focus be on the students that are below grade level and learning English?  Unfortunately, with the high stakes of No Child Left Behind and the pressure of our administrator to raise test scores, specifically in the sub group of ELLs, this becomes a difficult question to answer.

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