WWC review of this study

Evaluation of Education Connections: Supporting teachers with standards-based instruction for English learners in mainstream classrooms. Final report.

Patel, D., Wei, X., Laguarda, K., Stites, R., Cheever, H., & Goetz, R. (2018). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. https://www.sri.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/evaluation_of_edconx_final_report_3-22-18_final.pdf .

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grades

Reviewed: January 2022

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards without reservations
English language proficiency outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

California English Language Development Test (CELDT) & WIDA’s Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS) [Combined & Standardized]

Education Connections (EdConx) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

RCT sample only, English learner students of ELA teachers only;
924 students




Instructional practice outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Teacher Instructional Practice Scale (designed for EdConX evaluation)

Education Connections (EdConx) vs. Business as usual

0 Months

Full sample;
215 teachers





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • 100% English language learners

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
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    California, North Carolina, Virginia


Of the three districts included in the RCT study, one was a large urban district in North Carolina, one was a large urban district in California, and the third was a small rural district in Virginia. While the study focused on core subject teachers in grades 6 through 12, some elective classes were included in the full sample.

Study sample

The student outcome analysis included 100% English learners (ELs). Other student characteristics were not reported. Most teachers were high school teachers (74% in the intervention group and 66% in the comparison group) and the remaining were middle school teachers. In their focal class (the class with the highest proportion of EL students) teachers reported an average class size of 28 students and that nearly 30% of the class was comprised of EL students.

Intervention Group

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) developed an online platform, Education Connections (EdConx), to train and support teachers to integrate English language proficiency standards with content standards to deliver lessons that are both content-rich and accessible to English Learners (ELs). The EdConx platform consists of academic and teaching resources vetted by experts in EL instruction, online courses designed and facilitated by instructors from TESOL International, live events/webinars led by subject-matter experts, and forums to support teacher collaboration. In addition to the online resources, CAL held in-person information sessions with teachers to support their use of the EdConx platform. From fall 2014 through spring 2017, CAL partnered with six school districts in four states to provide access to the EdConx platform to 6th- through 12th-grade teachers of mainstream classrooms. By design, teachers could interact with the platform and its available resources in the way that best met their professional needs.

Comparison Group

Teachers in the comparison condition conducted business as usual and received access to EdConx after 1.5 years. During the study years, comparison students were likely exposed to instruction and support services as they had been in the past.

Support for implementation

Teachers in the intervention received several elements of support, including access to professional development and professional learning communities, online minicourses, live subject matter sessions, and technology support.


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