« 2011: Banner Year for Immigration Legislation in Alabama; Other States | Main | Threat to Immigrant Families' Child Tax Credits in Payroll-Tax Deal »

Long-Term ELLs More Likely to Drop Out, Study Finds

The longer students are classified as English-language learners, the greater the likelihood that they will drop out of school. And English-language learners who are reclassified as English proficient in earlier grades tend to be similar to non-English learners when it comes to achievement and dropout rates.

So says a new study on ELLs from researchers at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, based at the University of California, Los Angeles. Using three years of statewide, student-level data, the report examines enrollment history, achievement gaps and staying power in school for ELLs and reclassified ELLs as compared to students who are not English learners. (The researchers don't identify the state but my money is on Maryland because the study says it's home to 24 school districts. Maryland has 24 districts.)

The report looks at many factors that contribute to how ELLs fare in school. The findings of the report build on other studies that have examined how a student's ELL status and the timing of when they are reclassifed as being fluent in English impacts their persistence in school.

The researchers found that dropout rates for ELL students were 25 percent, compared to 15 percent for non-English learners. English learners who were reclassified in later grades had higher dropout rates than those who were reclassified in the early grades: 33 percent dropped out if they were still classified as ELLs in high school, 22 percent of those reclassified in grade 5 or sooner dropped out, while 15 percent of students who got reclassified in grade 2 or earlier dropped out.

None of those outcomes is encouraging, but these research findings underscore the need for more effective programs for students who are long-term ELLs or those who only start to learn the language in later grades.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments

  • Charles: ELLs in our state ARE required to take State standardized read more
  • Melissa: Maybe I'm just becoming jaded, but this feels to me read more
  • Anonymous: Are you kidding me....UNO is an organizaion that literally destroys read more
  • Meg Baker: Are any schools using ACCESS scores for purposes other than read more
  • Dr. Mendoza: This is great news i must say. Hopefully this DREAM read more