English-Language Learners Report Roundup

Study: Do School Turnarounds Overlook ELLs?

By Lesli A. Maxwell — May 13, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The unique learning needs of English-language learners enrolled in low-performing schools that were targeted for dramatic improvements under a federal school turnaround program were largely overlooked, at least in the early phases of implementation, a new evaluation concludes.

In an ongoing review of the Obama administration’s $4.6 billion School Improvement Grant program, the Institute of Education Sciences found that the needs of second-language learners received “only moderate or limited attention” in the early-to-midway stages of the schools’ turnaround initiatives. None of the schools studied by researchers at IES—the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education—showed that addressing ELLs’ needs was a strategic part of their turnaround methods.

Researchers based their findings on a close look at the turnaround strategies in 11 schools with a high proportion of English-language learners—ELL enrollments in the schools ranged from 35 percent to 90 percent. The schools were located among nine different unnamed, high-poverty districts and four states. Evaluators gathered data through two-day site visits and teacher surveys conducted in the fall of 2011 when the schools were entering the second year of their turnaround interventions.

Of the 11 schools, seven were using the so-called transformation model, which requires a new principal and adoption of strategies such as extended learning time. Four of the schools had opted for the turnaround model, which also required a new principal, as well as replacement of at least 50 percent of the teaching staff.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 14, 2014 edition of Education Week as Study: Do School Turnarounds Overlook ELLs?

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

English-Language Learners Want to Support Immigrant Students? Get Creative With Funding
Immigrant student supports can vary widely, but there's one common thread: Districts must get creative to fund them sustainably.
5 min read
Eric Parker teaches a class NW Classen High that has immigrant students and he has a flag representing each, which is a way to make them feel welcome, Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
Eric Parker, a teacher at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, displays flags representing the countries some of his students come from in this September 2019 photo. It's a way to make immigrant students feel welcome.
Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman via AP
English-Language Learners Immigrant Students Are Under Pressure. Four Ways Districts Can Support Them
As the immigrant student population grows nationwide, experts offer advice on best practices to support these students and their families.
4 min read
Student teacher Olivia Vazquez, standing, left, speaks with a student at the Eliza B. Kirkbride School in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Vazquez is finishing up her last semester at Swarthmore College and hoping to help make sure immigrant students arriving in Philadelphia have a more supportive experience in school than she did growing up.
Student-teacher Olivia Vazquez, left, speaks with a student at the Eliza B. Kirkbride School in Philadelphia on Oct. 20. Vazquez hopes to make sure immigrant students arriving in the city have a more supportive experience in school than she did growing up.
Matt Rourke/AP
English-Language Learners Is Federal Funding for Immigrant Students Falling Short?
Title III's strict eligibility requirements may hamper efforts to support immigrant students, a new report contends.
6 min read
Conceptual image of the shadows of people cast across a United States flag
Alxey Pnferov/iStock
English-Language Learners Opinion 10 Strategies for Reaching English-Learners
Despite the best of intentions, educators often err in their approaches to teaching students the English language.
5 min read
Supportive hand holds up a student who is reaching for a star
iStock/Getty