Publication date: November 2017
English learner (EL) students must accomplish the difficult task of mastering English and academic content concurrently. EL students who do not attain English proficiency and grade-level mastery of academic content by the middle and upper grades are at risk of dropping out of high school or failing to graduate.
To better understand the factors that influence EL students’ progress in Texas, this study examined the average time it took the 2005/06 cohort of grade 1 Hispanic EL students in the state to attain English language proficiency and meet state standards in reading and math. Students were followed through grade 8.
This study was conducted in collaboration with REL Southwest’s English Learners Research Alliance. The findings reveal that most Texas Hispanic students classified as English learners in grade 1 progressed in elementary school, but certain groups struggled to make progress by the middle grades. These groups may benefit from additional targeted supports.
The study’s findings also provide a useful context for validating the expectations for EL students that the Texas Education Agency has set forth in its accountability goals. And looking beyond Texas, this study serves as a blueprint for other states in how to use statewide longitudinal data to model expectations for EL students’ progress, as required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Related research alliance: English Learners Research Alliance
Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest at SEDL • 4700 Mueller Blvd. • Austin, TX 78723 • 800-476-6861 • firstname.lastname@example.org