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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2021088 Alaska Native Students as English Learner Students: Examining Patterns in Identification, Classification, Service Provision, and Reclassification
This report examines the population of Alaska Native students who are classified as English learner (EL) students and how EL policies function for these students, focusing on EL identification, classification, service provision, and reclassification as fluent English proficient. Alaska is one of several states where Indigenous students make up a large segment of the EL population. Drawing on Alaska state data from 2011/12 to 2018/19, this study found that roughly a quarter of Alaska Native kindergarten students statewide were classified as EL students. Alaska Native EL students are a diverse group. The Alaska Native EL students in the study spoke 24 different home languages and had varied demographic and education characteristics. Compared with non–Alaska Native EL kindergarten students, Alaska Native EL students had lower English proficiency levels and higher rates of economic disadvantage in a cash-based economy (defined in box 1). The percentage of kindergarten students who were Alaska Native EL students was highest in schools that were rural, schools that had higher rates of economic disadvantage, and schools that employed fewer English as a second language teachers. In interviews, four district leaders shared that identification, classification, service provision, and reclassification practices were the same for Alaska Native EL students as for other Alaska EL students. These interviewees shared that limited financial and human resources compromised the quality and availability of EL supports. However, a review of 26 district EL Plans of Service revealed that less than a third of districts described policies and services directed specifically toward Alaska Native EL students, including heritage language programs, community outreach, and collaboration between Alaska Native education programs and EL programs. Statewide, EL reclassification rates were low for all EL students but especially low among Alaska Native EL students. By the end of grade 7, only 11 percent of Alaska Native EL students had been reclassified compared with 30 percent of non–Alaska Native EL students. This report identifies implications for Alaska, and for other states serving Indigenous EL students, for ensuring that EL education policy, funding, and service provision support Alaska Native and other Indigenous EL students equitably and with excellence.
5/18/2021
REL 2020024 Progress of Arizona Kindergartners toward English Proficiency in Grade 3 by English Learner Student Classification
This study was prompted by the Arizona Department of Education’s interest in learning more about the progress of English learner students toward English proficiency in the early grades. The study examined the English language proficiency and English language arts (ELA) proficiency (reading and writing at grade level) of non-native English speaker students in kindergarten and in grade 3. About 11 percent of 2013/14 kindergartners in Arizona were initially classified as English learner students. At the end of that school year, Arizona retested all non-native English speaker kindergartners after setting a higher threshold for English language proficiency. After reassessment, the proportion of kindergartners classified as English learner students rose to 18 percent. Students initially classified as English language proficient and reclassified as English learner students at the end of kindergarten were no more likely to achieve proficiency by the end of grade 3 than were students initially classified at the basic/intermediate (below proficient) level. This finding suggests that students who were reclassified likely needed English learner services at kindergarten entry. One group of students outperformed native English speakers on grade 3 proficiency assessments: non-native English speakers who were proficient when they entered kindergarten and confirmed as proficient when reassessed at the end of the school year. This finding increases confidence that these non-native English speaker students were appropriately classified as not needing English learner services. A small amount of the variation in English language proficiency and ELA proficiency in grade 3 was attributable to school characteristics, but most of the variation in outcomes was attributable to student characteristics. This suggests that practitioners and policymakers might want to investigate how to reduce gaps in achievement within schools in addition to increasing students’ achievement levels overall. Student characteristics associated with lower outcomes in grade 3 included lower English language proficiency level at kindergarten entry, being eligible for special education services, being a racial/ethnic minority student, and being male. Being socioeconomically disadvantaged was associated with a lower probability of achieving ELA proficiency by the end of grade 3 but not with reaching English language proficiency.
8/12/2020
NCES 2020222 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) U.S. 2017 Sample Public-use File (PUF)
The PIAAC U.S. 2017 public-use file (PUF) contains individual unit data including both responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment from the third U.S. PIAAC data collection, completed in 2017. Statistical disclosure control treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. For more details on the PUF, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC Technical Report (NCES 2020-224).
11/20/2019
NCES 2020223 Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) U.S. 2017 Sample Restricted-Use File (RUF)
The PIAAC U.S. 2017 Restricted-use File (RUF) consists of data from the PIAAC 2017 household sample. It contains data for individuals including responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment. Statistical confidentiality treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. In addition to the variables in the public use file, the RUF contains detailed versions of variables and additional data collected through U.S. specific questionnaire routing. The RUF can be accessed through a restricted-use license agreement with the National Center for Education Statistics. For more details on the data, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC technical report. (NCES 2019-224).
11/20/2019
REL 2019003 Student and school characteristics associated with academic performance and English language proficiency among English learner students in grades 3–8 in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) has witnessed an increase in the number of English learner students in grades K–12 over recent years, with students coming from more diverse backgrounds in race/ethnicity, countries of origin, and native language. This requires more support from the district to meet diverse needs in terms of languages, cultures, and educational supports. The Cleveland Partnership for English Learner Success—a partnership among CMSD's Multilingual Multicultural Education office, the research office and researchers from Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest—has prioritized identifying English learner student and school characteristics associated with student achievement and language proficiency. This will provide a step toward improving district and school supports for English learner students. Student and school data from 2011/12 through 2016/17 were obtained from the district administrative records. The study examined means and percentages of student and school characteristics and student achievement of English learner students in grades 3–8 from school years 2011/12 through 2016/17. The study team examined these characteristics for English learner students in grades 3–8 each year separately, enabling the team to identify stable patterns while helping to uncover changes over time.
6/11/2019
REL 2018286 Initial Spanish proficiency and English language development among Spanish-speaking English learner students in New Mexico
The purpose of this study was to understand whether differences in initial kindergarten Spanish proficiency for English learner students were linked to disparities in attaining English proficiency and academic achievement in reading and math by grades 4 and 5. The study followed two cohorts of Spanish-speaking English learner students from four districts in New Mexico from kindergarten through grades 4 and 5. The 2010 cohort included students enrolled in kindergarten in 2009/10 and followed through grade 5, and represented 25 percent of the Spanish-speaking English learner students enrolled in bilingual programs in the state. The 2011 cohort included students enrolled in kindergarten in 2010/11 and followed through grade 4, and represented 35 percent of the Spanish-speaking English learner students enrolled in bilingual programs in the state. The descriptive study examined cumulative rates of English learner students progressing toward fluent English proficiency. The study also examined students’ demonstration of grade-level readiness on standardized academic assessments in math and English language arts in grades 4 and 5, particularly for those students who were successfully reclassified to fluent English proficient, and how they compared to state averages at the same grade level. Results were reported out according to three different levels of initial kindergarten Spanish proficiency: low, medium and high. The study found that a considerable portion of English learner students in both cohorts started kindergarten at the lowest English proficiency level, but that results favored students who started kindergarten with high Spanish proficiency. Results also indicated that grade-level readiness for grades 4 and 5 on NMPARCC English language arts and math scores for students who achieved English proficiency in grades 4 and 5 were generally lower than statewide averages for all students. However, students with high kindergarten Spanish proficiency were more likely to have higher English proficiency in kindergarten, to be reclassified to fluent English proficient by grades 4 or 5, and to be demonstrate grade-level readiness in English language arts and math in grades 4 and 5 compared to students with low or medium kindergarten Spanish proficiency levels. Results suggest that differentiated annual targets for English language proficiency progress based on results from the kindergarten Spanish proficiency assessment might produce more accurate annual growth targets for English learner students, and that those Spanish proficiency assessments could serve as a flag for targeting students with a higher risk of struggling to gain English and academic proficiency in elementary school.
1/23/2018
REL 2018280 Time to proficiency for Hispanic English learner students in Texas
This study examined the time it took for English learner students in Texas public schools to reach key educational outcomes for the first time, including attaining English proficiency and satisfactory performance on reading and mathematics state assessments. The study also estimated the probability of attaining these outcomes based on several student characteristics (e.g., initial English language proficiency, receipt of special education services, and being overaged at grade 1 entry) and educational experiences (e.g., the type of English learner program: English as a Second Language or bilingual). Historical data from the Texas Education Agency was used to construct a cohort of Hispanic students who entered Texas public schools in grade 1 as English learner students in the 2005/06 school year (85,611 students). Students were followed for up to eight years, through the 2012/13 school year, including while classified as English learner students and after exit from English learner status. Discrete-time survival analyses were used to estimate the probability of attaining outcomes over time.
11/3/2017
REL 2017198 Home Language Survey Data Quality Self-Assessment
Most state departments of education across the U.S. require or recommend that districts use a home language survey as the first step in a multi-step process for identifying students who qualify for English learner student services. However, existing home language surveys may not reveal accurate information about students' language or students' exposure to English language and literacy and, therefore, can actually contribute to the misidentification of English learner students. In response to this challenge, Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands worked with state and district practitioners to develop the Home Language Survey Data Quality Self-Assessment Tool. This 15-minute self-assessment is designed for use by state leaders who coordinate programs to support students' English language acquisition and achievement in districts, as well as for district leaders who oversee the English learner student identification process in schools. The tool supports the collection of high-quality home language survey data by gathering information from district English learner student coordinators and prompts self-assessment of key practices that impact the quality of home language survey data. The report includes a guiding Data Quality Framework and presents the complete self-assessment tool along with description of how it was developed, how to adapt and administer the self-assessment, and how to engage stakeholders in analyzing and interpreting self-assessment results to identify opportunities for improvement. This engagement at both state and district levels will inform decisions that can contribute to the collection of more accurate data regarding English learner students.
2/28/2017
REL 2017220 Advanced course enrollment and performance in Washington state: Comparing Spanish-speaking students with other language minority students and English-only speakers
This study examined differences in advanced course enrollment and performance for groups of language minority students and native English speakers in Washington state high schools. With data from more than a million students enrolled in Washington state high schools between 2009/10 and 2012/13, the study used regression analysis and calculations of percentages and averages to highlight outcomes for Spanish-speaking students—the largest group of language minority students in the state—and for students from other language backgrounds, including native English speakers. The study found that Spanish-speaking students, regardless of their English learner status, take fewer advanced courses than English-only speakers and speakers of other languages. Spanish-speaking students also earn lower grades in advanced courses than non–Spanish-speaking students, but these differences disappear when students have the same grade point average and test scores in the prior year and attend the same school. In addition, schools with the lowest percentage of Spanish-speaking English learner students offer more advanced courses than schools with higher percentages of these students. The findings suggest that school districts may want to identify gaps and monitor progress toward the goal of equitable advanced course offerings for all students. In doing so, they should take into account the fact that language minority students are a heterogeneous group and that different supports and approaches may be needed for students who speak different languages.
1/10/2017
REL 2017200 Patterns of English learner student reclassification in New York City public schools
This study was designed to describe patterns in reclassification from English learner to English proficient, how the patterns changed over time as students spent more time in New York City (NYC) schools, and how reclassification patterns differed by specific student characteristics. The study utilized existing administrative data for seven cohorts of students who entered New York City public schools as English learner students between the 2003/04 and 2010/11 school years. The seven cohorts were followed for periods ranging from two to nine years, through the 2011/12 school year. The analytic sample included 229,249 students who were initially classified as English learner students. The first research question used the subset of data for students who entered NYC schools as English learner students in kindergarten, with the goal of comparing the probability of reclassification as it changed over grade levels, through the end of grade 7. The second research question used these data combined with the data on students who entered after kindergarten to facilitate comparisons in time to reclassification between students who entered at different grade levels. To address the three student characteristics of interest (grade of entry, initial English proficiency, and disability status), three separate, parallel models were used to investigate the relationship between time to reclassification and each characteristic individually. In the analyses for both research questions, discrete-time survival analyses were used to estimate the probability of reclassification as it changed over time. Approximately half of the students who entered kindergarten in New York City public schools as English learner students were reclassified within four years (that is, by the end of their expected grade 3 year). English learner students who entered New York City public schools in grade 6 or 7 took a year longer to become reclassified than English learner students who entered in kindergarten.
10/13/2016
REL 2017172 English learner students' readiness for academic success: The predictive potential of English language proficiency assessment scores in Arizona and Nevada
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.
10/13/2016
NCES 2016667REV Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2012/2014: U.S. National Supplement Public Use Data Files-Household
The PIAAC 2012/14 U.S. PUF contains individual unit record data including both responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment from both the first and second U.S. PIAAC data collections, completed in 2012 and 2014, respectively. In September 2017, the PUF was reissued, with an Errata Sheet detailing the revisions. Statistical disclosure control treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. For more details on the PUF, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC Technical Report (NCES 2016-036REV).

How to get PIAAC Restricted Use Data.
9/15/2016
NCES 2016668REV Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 2012/2014: U.S. National Supplement Restricted Use Data Files-Household
The PIAAC 2012/14 U.S. RUF contains individual unit record data including both responses to the background questionnaire and the cognitive assessment from both the first and second U.S. PIAAC data collections, completed in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Statistical disclosure control treatments were applied due to confidentiality concerns. In addition to the variables in the PUF (NCES 2014-667REV), the RUF contains detailed versions of variables and additional data collected through U.S. specific questionnaire routing. The RUF can be accessed through a restricted use license agreement with the National Center for Education Statistics. For more details on the RUF, please refer to Appendix E of the U.S. PIAAC Technical Report (NCES 2016-036REV).
9/15/2016
REL 2016154 The achievement progress of English learner students in Nevada
The purpose of this study was to examine the cumulative progress of English learner students in Nevada in English language proficiency (ELP) and in academic content knowledge in both reading and mathematics. This study identified students in grades kindergarten, 3, and 6 who were designated as English learner students in 2006/07 and examined their progress from 2006/07 through 2011/12 on the ELP test, the reading content test, and the math content test as well as student characteristics. The analytic sample included all students identified as English learner students who were enrolled in the state's public schools in the designated grade of the first year of the cohort, progressed to the next grade level each year, and who had the required test data throughout the six years being analyzed. Each cohort consisted of a separate sample of students. The annual cumulative numbers and percentages of English learner students who met each progress criterion were calculated. The analyses were for each English learner grade-level cohort as a whole, as well as separately by the four student characteristics at the start of the study (2006/07): ELP level, designation as eligible for special education services, eligibility for a school lunch program, and gender. Results indicate that after six years, more than 90 percent of the English learner students scored at or above the required level of reclassified as fluent English proficient on the Nevada ELP test. In each of the three grade-level cohorts, the overall cumulative passing percentage was highest for Nevada's ELP test, followed by the reading test, and then the math test. The largest differences in cumulative passing rates were associated with eligibility for special education services and initial ELP level. Higher grade students had lower cumulative passing percentages on all three tests compared to lower grade students. 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. The study's findings also suggest that higher grade students who are eligible for special education services will need different support than what the higher grade students received during the study period if they are going to achieve even minimal levels of academic achievement in reading and math.
8/25/2016
REL 2016155 The achievement progress of English learner students in Utah
The purpose of this study was to examine the cumulative progress of English learner students in Utah in English language proficiency (ELP) and in academic content knowledge in both English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. This study identified students in grades kindergarten, 3, and 6 who were designated as English learner students in 2006/07 and examined their progress from 2006/07 through 2011/12 on the ELP test, the ELA content test, and the math content test, as well as student characteristics. The analytic sample included all students identified as English learner students who were enrolled in the state's public schools in the designated grade of the first year of the cohort, progressed to the next grade level each year, and who had the required test data throughout the six years being analyzed. Each cohort consisted of a separate sample of students. The annual cumulative numbers and percentages of English learner students who met each progress criterion were calculated. The analyses were for each English learner grade-level cohort as a whole, as well as separately by the four student characteristics at the start of the study (2006/07): ELP level, designation as eligible for special education services, eligibility for a school lunch program, and gender. Results indicate that after six years, more than 90 percent of the English learner students scored at or above the required level of reclassified as fluent English proficient on the Utah ELP test. In each of the three grade-level cohorts, the overall cumulative passing percentage was highest for Utah's ELP test, followed by the ELA test, and then the math test. The largest differences in cumulative passing rates were associated with eligibility for special education services and initial ELP level. Higher grade students had lower cumulative passing percentages on all three tests compared to lower grade students. 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. The study's findings also seem to suggest that higher grade students who are eligible for special education services will need different support than what the higher grade students received during the study period if they are going to achieve even minimal levels of academic achievement in ELA and math.
8/25/2016
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