This new extended analysis was based upon extensive survey data from 4,700 K-5 classroom teachers (80% or more at each school) and all principals in 237 California elementary schools from 137 different school districts across the state [in 2005]. These schools were initially randomly selected from 550 schools in California’s 25-35% School Characteristics Index band. All schools from this band have high levels of student poverty and low parent education levels; for this analysis we further narrowed our original sample to eliminate any school that didn’t have enough English Learner students to have an EL Academic Performance Index score.
The sample included low, middle, and high performing schools, which enabled an examination of the school practices that differentiate low from high performing schools.
School practice domains examined:
- Prioritizing Student Achievement (Using Measurable and Monitored Objectives)
- Implementing a Coherent, Standards-based Curriculum and Instructional Program
- Using Assessment Data to Improve Student Achievement and Instruction
- Ensuring Availability of Instructional Resources
- Enforcing High Expectations for Student Behavior
- Encouraging Teacher Collaboration and Providing Professional Development
- Involving and Supporting Parents
- Using Assessment Data to Improve Student Achievement and Instruction.
- Ensuring Availability of Instructional Resources.
- Implementing a Coherent, Standards-based Curriculum and Instructional Program.
- Prioritizing Student Achievement (Using Measurable and Monitored Objectives).
- Why do some schools and districts use these practices more than others?
- Do these practices have a causal relationship to higher EL-API scores? If so, what are the mechanism? Why do they work?
- What conditions and contexts support or inhibit the use of these practices?
- Are there any systematic reasons or conditions that explain the patterns of use of these practices?
+ the sample of schools they chose was fairly narrow - they only look at schools in the 25th to 35th percentile band of California’s School Characteristics Index (SCI) which basically means that most of the children in these school are from low-income households. The results of study might be significantly different with schools that serve ELs with higher-SES or even lower-SES so there is some doubt and concerns about how generalizable the results are of the study to other schools who serve ELs.
+ There is this interesting comment in the technical appendicies: "The outcomes [the 2005 EL Base API] expressed as percentages underwent two transformations in order to avoid the violations of linear regression assumptions that otherwise ensue when using a proportion as the dependent variable." The conclusions of the researchers are based on looking at which schools practices have the most significant positive correlations with higher EL–API scores for elementary schools. There isn't enough information in the technical appendicies to determine if the two transformations they performed were appropriate to determine the correlations.
EdSource Web Page for Similar English Learner Students, Different Results