Research Alliance: English Language Learners Alliance
Principal Investigator: Michael Kieffer
Overview: Educators are increasingly concerned with the outcomes of the large and growing population of English learner students. Although current assessment systems and cross-sectional studies provide information on the performance of students classified as English learner students at a particular point in time, longitudinal information about these learners’ long-term outcomes is scarce. The large and diverse English learner student population in New York City public schools provides a unique opportunity to describe the graduation outcomes of students who enter school not yet proficient in English. Drawing on longitudinal administrative data from 2003 to 2012, this study, conducted for the English Language Learners Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands, will describe the graduation rates and diploma types earned by students who enter school as English learners in grades 5 and 6, a sub-group of students that may be at particularly elevated risk for academic difficulties. In addition, to shed light on differences within the population of English learner students, researchers will compare the high school graduation of—and the types of diplomas earned by—long-term English learner students (that is, students taking six or more years to become proficient in English) with the outcomes of short-term English learner students (that is, those who become proficient in English in fewer than six years).