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Resource Needs for English Learners: Getting Down to Policy Recommendations. Patricia Gandara, Julie Maxwell-Jolly, Russell Rumberger UC LMRI BCN Meeting September 25, 2008. History. Williams v. State of California

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Resource needs for english learners getting down to policy recommendations

Resource Needs for English Learners: Getting Down to Policy Recommendations

Patricia Gandara, Julie Maxwell-Jolly,

Russell Rumberger


BCN Meeting

September 25, 2008

History Recommendations

  • Williams v. State of California

    • The Inequitable Treatment of English Learners in California’s Public Schools (2003)

  • Getting Down to Facts

    • Resource Needs for California’s English Learners (2006)

    • Resource Needs for English Learners: Getting Down to Policy Recommendations (2008)


Context Recommendations

The scope of the challenge
The Scope of the Challenge Recommendations

  • Linguistic minorities are the fastest growing demographic group in California and the U.S.

  • More than 40% of K-12 students in California are defined as linguistic minorities

  • More than 25% of K-12 students are English Learners

  • These students begin school at a considerable disadvantage relative to their English speaking peers

The linguistic minority population 5 17 years of age 1980 2005
The Linguistic Minority Population, Recommendations5-17 Years of Age: 1980-2005

Performance on 2005 ca ela standards test by language background
Performance on Recommendations2005 CA ELA Standards Test by Language Background

Cognitive skills of california beginning kindergartners by language background fall 1998
Cognitive Skills of California Beginning Kindergartners Language Groupby Language Background, Fall 1998

Resource needs for english learners getting down to policy recommendations

1. Language GroupInequitable access to appropriately trained teachers: lessthan half of teachers of EL have appropriate credential

2. Inadequate professional development

3. Invalid and unreliable assessment

4. Inadequate instructional time

5. Inadequate instructional materials

6. Segregated in poorest facilities

7. Linguistic isolation:>half of K-6 EL’s in schools with >half EL students

Resources 2006

Resources (2006) Language Group

Study methods
Study Methods Language Group

  • Review of cost literature and studies of costs for EL students

  • Review of Professional Judgment Panels of costs for EL students

  • Collection of data in 5 BTO schools --what did they spend money on?

  • Synthesis of the above

It matters what the goal of an adequate education is
It matters what the goal of an adequate education is Language Group

1. English proficiency, nothing else

2. English proficiency and sustained

academic proficiency

3. Close achievement gaps

4. Biliteracy

Findings Language Group

  • Consistent finding that low income students have greater needs than non-poor

  • There is little consistency in studies about additional resource needs for EL students--some show large differences in needs, others show none

  • There are certainly differences in needs

  • There are at least some marginal cost differences

  • Both poor and EL students in California have unmet needs

Resource needs similar to low income students
Resource Needs: Language GroupSimilar to low-income students

  • Preschool

  • Reduced student/teacher ratio

  • More instructional time

  • Specific professional development for teachers

  • More support personnel

  • Appropriate instructional materials

  • Appropriate assessment

  • Parent outreach

  • Safe, secure environment

Resource needs different from low income students

Cost Category Language Group

Bilingual teachers

More instructional time

Bilingual support personnel

Some additional materials (ELD, books)

Valid and reliable assessment

Some translation

Additional Cost

Probably cost neutral

Additional cost for poorest students

Marginal additional cost

Marginal additional cost

Significant cost --shared with fed. government

Marginal additional cost

Resource Needs: Different from low-income students

Policy recommendations

Policy Recommendations Language Group

Study methods1
Study Methods Language Group

  • Two convenings of major stakeholders (August, September 2007)

  • Discussion among other stakeholders

  • Consideration of current budget constraints and political support

Categories Language Group

  • Funding

  • Accountability

  • Teacher infrastructure

  • Educational leadership infrastructure

  • Instructional infrastructure

Funding Language Group

Recommendation 1
Recommendation 1 Language Group

The State of California should set an initial funding augmentation of 20 percent for English Learners above and beyond the augmentation for poverty to be applied to a weighted system of pupil funding, an improved categorical system, or any other funding mechanism that the state adopts. Moreover, students who attend schools that are 50% or more English Learners should receive an additional augmentation of 5 percent that reflects the additional interventions that may be necessary to help them join the English mainstream.

Recommendation 2
Recommendation 2 Language Group

The state should also consider an augmentation for linguistic minority students—those whose language backgrounds result in an ongoing need for support to achieve full proficiency in standard and academic English. This would include students who are Standard English Learners as well as those who have been reclassified as Fluent in English, but who still struggle with academic English.

Accountability Language Group

Recommendation 3
Recommendation 3 Language Group

The state should develop an evaluation template that can be used by schools and districts to help them collect formative, and to the extent possible, summative (outcome) data on resource expenditures and EL student academic progress to aid schools in data-based decision making. Select data from this evaluation should be reported annually through the school’s online report card.

Teacher infrastructure
Teacher Infrastructure Language Group

Recommendation 4
Recommendation 4 Language Group

The State should establish several Centers for Research and Teaching Excellence for English Learners in key regions where both need and resources converge.

Recommendation 5
Recommendation 5 Language Group

The California Teacher Credentialing Commission should design and adopt two forms of single subject specialist certifications for teachers in grades 7-12. The content of these certifications would be established by a group of experts in the field, relying on research-based findings from empirical work that might be carried out in the Centers for Research and Teaching Excellence for English Learners. One form of this certification would be an ELD Specialist credential/certificate for middle and high school teachers who teach ELD as a content area. This increased specialization could be obtained at the preliminary (initial credential) or advanced credential level. A second form of certification could be earned by educators who provide support, mentoring, and/or professional development (including literacy coaching) for the instruction of ELs.

Recommendation 6
Recommendation 6 Language Group

Bilingual resource teacher positions should be funded at attractive levels and be offered at every school with EL students and APLE (forgivable loan) awards should be increased for credentialed bilingual teachers from $11,000 to $18,000—the level of awards for special education, math, and science teachers.

Recommendation 7
Recommendation 7 Language Group

The State should design and award a Supplementary Administrative Certification in EL instructional services initially on a volunteer basis, but Principal Leadership programs being conducted in California should also adopt the content of this certification for all principals in training.

Recommendations 8 and 9
Recommendations 8 and 9 Language Group

All schools should report California English Language Development Test (CELDT) scores, along with the California Standards Test (CST) scores, in a way that allows policymakers and practitioners to easily evaluate to what extent CELDT is aligned with or predicts CST performance.

Require each district to report reclassification criteria to the state, and make this information available online.

Recommendation 10
Recommendation 10 Language Group

We propose that in schools and districts where current mandated practices are not resulting in satisfactory progress for English Learners, those that are willing to partner with an approved technical assistance agency or research organization, such as a university, be given the opportunity to exercise more choice in both materials and pedagogical practices. We call these “Zones of Choice”.