Skip Navigation

English learner students' readiness for academic success: The predictive potential of English language proficiency assessment scores in Arizona and Nevada

Region:
West
Description:
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.
Publication Type:
Making Connections
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
October 2016
Contact: