High schools with higher-than-average academic outcomes for English-language learners found that the schools share common design elements, including intentionally hiring immigrants and former ELLs, according to.
Staff members at six case-study schools often speak students’ home languages and have significant international traveling experience, which helps them “understand ELLs’ perspectives, communicate with them, and serve as role models for students,” the report found. The featured schools, which have higher-than-average graduation and college-going rates for ELLs, are: Boston International High School; Newcomers Academy, also in Boston; and the High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, It Takes a Village Academy, Manhattan Bridges High School, Marble Hill School for International Studies, and New World High School, which are all in New York City.
The 245-page report found that the schools frequently assess students’ language capacity from entry through graduation and adjust instruction and course offerings based on the data. Frequent communication between staff members and families in their home languages and the availability of wraparound services such as health, housing, food, and employment resources was also a hallmark of the schools. The Carnegie Corporation of New York funded the report.
A version of this article appeared in the February 24, 2016 edition of Education Week as English-Language Learners