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The achievement progress of English learner students in Utah

To understand the learning trajectories of the growing numbers of English learner students in the West, especially those who struggle to pass state English language arts and math content tests, this study followed three cohorts of English learner students in Utah over six school years, 2006–2007 through 2011–2012, to assess their progress in English proficiency and their academic progress in English language arts and math content knowledge.

Key findings from the study include:

  • More than 90 percent of Utah’s English learner students scored at or above the required level for reclassification as fluent English proficient students over a period of six school years.
  • The cumulative passing rate was highest for the English language proficiency test, followed by the English language arts test and the math test.
  • The largest differences in cumulative passing rates were associated with eligibility for special education services and initial language proficiency.
  • In general, English learner students in higher grades had lower cumulative passing rates on all three tests than students in lower grades.

This study's findings identify subgroups of English learner students who may need more support to attain at least the expected minimum levels of academic achievement. All English learner students who are eligible for special education services will likely need additional support to be successful, and this support may need to vary by specific subgroups of learning disabilities.


Examining ELs' Academic Outcomes (English Learner Students)

Publication Type

Publication Date
August 1, 2016