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Where Do English Language Learner Students Go to School? Student Distribution By Language Proficiency in Arizona: REL Technical Brief

By Eric Haas, Min Huang


Across Arizona and the United States, there is widespread interest in how to successfully educate the growing number of English language learner (ELL) students in K–12 schools. Research suggests that a school may face challenges in effectively teaching ELLs—and closing the achievement gap with native English speakers—when concentrations of ELLs are high, especially in middle and high schools; when there are many socioeconomically disadvantaged students; and when the school is located in an urban or rural (as opposed to suburban) area. Research also suggests that open enrollment programs may increase the concentrations of ELLs and socioeconomically disadvantaged students in some schools.

This technical brief, prepared by Regional Educational Laboratory West at WestEd for the Arizona Department of Education, analyzes 2007/08 student-level data to determine how the number and percentage of ELLs vary by public school in Arizona and how the percentage of ELLs varies by school level (primary, middle, and high school), percentage of students eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch (an indicator of socioeconomic disadvantage), school type (traditional, alternative, and charter), and school location.

A short summary of the technical brief is also available.

Information about the regional educational laboratory (REL) system and other REL publications can be found at the National Regional Educational Laboratory Program.

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Format: PDF
Pages: 24
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

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