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IES Grant

Title: Cleveland Partnership for English Learner Success
Center: NCER Year: 2018
Principal Investigator: Davis, Elisabeth Awardee: American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (07/01/2018–06/30/2020) Award Amount: $399,913
Type: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Award Number: R305H180021

Co-Principal Investigators: Linick, Matthew; González, José

Partner Institutions: Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and American Institutes for Research (AIR)

Purpose: For this project, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) will partner with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to form the Cleveland Partnership for English Learner Success (CLE-PELS). CLE-PELS has two primary purposes. One is to explore and better understand how EL high school students in the district fare in terms of postsecondary readiness (meeting specific benchmarks during high school) and success (enrolling in any postsecondary institution). The other is to increase the district's capacity to access, conduct, and interpret research about its EL students, as well as to support the use of the research at the school level. Partnership members will engage in research to understand and address the needs of a growing and increasingly diverse EL student population in the district, including examining how EL students have changed over time; determining what student- and school-level factors are associated with their success; and identifying, implementing, and improving practices aimed at increasing EL student success.

Partnership Activities: The partners will pursue four primary activities:

  • Leverage extant data to gain an understanding of the student and school characteristics related to EL students' postsecondary readiness and success.
  • Investigate ways in which schools are providing postsecondary readiness supports for their EL students.
  • Increase the district's capacity to access, conduct, interpret, and make sense of EL research.
  • Support the use of EL research in decision making at the school and district levels.

In addition to its research activities, CLE-PELS will develop its partnership by establishing formal procedures for planning, communication, decision-making, use of research evidence, and sustainability. The partners also will engage with a stakeholder advisory group to act as thought partners in the research activities. Finally, the partners will develop high school profiles of EL outcomes, and host a workshop to increase high school leadership teams' capacity to understand and use research in decision making. Feedback from the workshop will be used as a base for future research activities.

Setting: The proposed research will use extant data from CMSD high schools and high school students. CMSD is a large urban district serving approximately 40,000 students.

Population/Sample: The proposed sample will include five consecutive cohorts of CMSD students entering grade 9 between the 2008-09 and 2012-13 school years. Each cohort includes approximately 3,650 students, close to 10 percent of whom are ELs.

Data Analytic Strategy: The study will use exploratory descriptive, correlational, and regression analyses to explore a series of descriptive research questions about EL students' access to and performance in secondary and postsecondary settings. For a fifth research question, the team will use a three-level hierarchical general linear model (students nested in cohorts nested in schools) to examine the likelihood of postsecondary enrollment for EL versus never-EL students, controlling for demographic, academic, behavioral, and postsecondary readiness characteristics.

Outcomes: The CLE-PELS team will produce several products that are intended both to provide a deeper understanding of EL high school student needs in the district, and to increase CMSD's capacity for understanding and using research. Specific products will include

  • high-school-specific profiles of EL native language and proficiency levels over time;
  • percentage of EL versus never-EL students achieving specific benchmarks and enrolling in postsecondary institutions;
  • a full report of the results of the analysis; and
  • a workshop for high school principals to help them understand the results and implications of the research specific to their schools and to facilitate discussions on ways in which to use the results to inform decision making for their students.

Related Projects: Cleveland Alliance for School Climate Research (R305H170068)