AEFP 44th Annual Conference Program
Chair:, University of Missouri
Chair:, University of Pennsylvania
Chair:, American University
Chair:, The University of Iowa
Chair:, American University
Chair:, University of Maryland College Park
Chair:, University of Melbourne
Chair:, Brigham Young University
Chair:, University of California- Berkeley
Chair:, Texas A&M University
Chair:, United Federation of Teachers
Chair:, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
This proposed panel will convene state policy practitioners and a national-level researcher to discuss the opportunities and challenges of accountability frameworks as they apply to ELs. The objective of the panel is to share best practices for incorporating EL subpopulations in accountability frameworks and state report cards, while also addressing complex challenges where refinements are sought. The panel will present one state’s context and approaches, which will be then be situated in the larger national context from a researcher’s perspective.
In U.S. schools, students classified as English Learners (ELs) comprised 9.5% of the overall student population in 2015, a proportion that has been increasing over time (NCES, 2017). As U.S. schools educate an increasing linguistically and culturally diverse student population, state educational policies and educational research must keep pace in order to ensure that all students not only have equitable access to quality educational opportunities, but are also reaching achievement targets. In particular, with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), state education agencies must now report EL students’ achievement as a subgroup as part of Title I accountability and must develop growth targets for students’ annual progress toward acquiring proficiency in English.
Now that ESSA state plans are the implementation phase, states are working to refine their methods for examining and reporting EL progress and attainment. The panel will include remarks on the minimum n-size for disaggregating accountability data for a subgroup, and the tensions in determining the optimal n-size for various state contexts. The panel will share innovative ways for examining the progress of EL students, using data visualizations that show achievement results for those ELs who have been reclassified, those who are current ELs, and those who have been classified as ELs for more than five years. Additionally, issues surrounding students who are dually-identified as eligible for EL and special education services will be addressed. Discussion will include comparing and contrasting solutions to complex policy decisions, with the ultimate goal of accounting for students’ growth equitably.