The Achievement Progress of English Learner Students in Arizona

By Eric Haas, Min Huang, Loan Tran, Airong Yu

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Description

With states increasingly committed to better understanding and supporting the academic progress of their English learner students, this REL West study offers insights into how these students progressed in the state of Arizona over six school years.

This study followed three cohorts of English learner students in kindergarten, grade 3, and grade 6 from 2006/07 through 2011/12 to assess their English proficiency and track their academic progress in English language arts and math content knowledge.

Key Findings

  • English learner students in lower grades did better than students in higher grades on subject matter tests
  • English learner students who were eligible for special education services generally had the lowest passing rates on all tests
  • English learner students who started the study at lower English language proficiency (ELP) levels generally had lower passing rates on all tests than students at the higher ELP levels
  • English learner students who were eligible for the school lunch program scored lower on all tests than their peers who were not eligible
  • Male English learner students had lower passing rates than their female peers on the English language proficiency and English language arts tests, but scored about the same — mostly slightly higher and sometimes slightly lower — on the math test

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