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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Stephen G. Sireci

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Education Policy | Survival Analysis

Abstract

Approximately 10 percent of the US K-12 population consists of English learners (ELs), or students who are learning English in addition to academic content in areas like English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. In addition to meeting the same academic content and performance standards set for all students, it is also a goal for ELs to be reclassified – i.e., to master English so that they can shed the EL label and participate in academic settings where English is used without needing special support. Working with a longitudinal cohort of ~28,000 ELs in grades 3 through 8 from one state, this study uses discrete-time survival analysis to study the probability of being reclassified as a function of time, instructional covariates (e.g., type of language instruction), background covariates (e.g., the student’s home language), years of EL-related service, and district resources. The results suggest that, while probability of reclassification can vary considerably as a function of students’ instructional program, intrastate mobility, and grade retention, ultimately the best predictor of reclassification is the amount of time students have been receiving services. Policy recommendations are provided to support decision-making and resource-allocation, particularly for students most at risk of remaining ELs for a prolonged period of item. Future research ideas are also discussed.

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