The Impact of Social and Behavioral Science Research on Educational Issues:
Focus on English Language Learners and NCLB
Spring Quarter, 2009
This course examines federal, state and local education policy development and implementation related to the education of English Language Learners (ELLs). A major focal point will be the reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Key topics to be addressed include: instructional practices, assessment, accountability, equity/opportunity to learn, school effectiveness and innovation, teacher quality and effectiveness, district capacity, and their ramifications for the education of ELLs. The role and use of research evidence in formulating policy and enacting practices will be consistently explored.
The course requirements are: (1) active class participation demonstrating evidence of having read course materials; (2) participation in small group discussions where policy scenarios are presented and the group considers dilemmas and trade-offs, and makes policy recommendations at federal, state or local levels that are research-informed; and (3) a 7-10 page policy brief on a particular provision in NCLB that reviews the federal, state and local effects of the policy, examines the research base underlying it, exhibits an understanding of how it plays out in practice, and offers a defensible proposal for reform.
The overarching course goal is to develop knowledge and skills that are grounded in research evidence and directly applicable to current, real-world ELL policy and practice issues. On a historical note, this course remains experimental in that it tries to use the immediate policy context as a window into difficult and complex content. As such, it is not static. This year, for example, the federal stimulus bill, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), includes greatly increased funding for Title I. Many analysts believe that ARRA will reset funding levels for ESEA/NCLB in the future and has major implications for reauthorization. Thus, we will look into ARRA and its possible implications for ELLs. The instructors are both actively involved in ELL educational policy, research, and practice. Guest speakers may also be invited to participate
March 30: Overview: Federal-state-local linkages and history of ELL policy.
April 7: Title I, Title III and case law as levers of ELL learning opportunities
(2006). The Unraveling of No Child Left Behind: How Negotiated Changes
Transform the Law. The Civil Rights
· Advocacy 1: Crawford, J. A Diminished Vision of Civil Rights. Education Week Commentary. Click here.
· Advocacy 2: Education Trust. ESEA: Myths versus Realities. Click here.
· Advocacy 3: Lazarin, M. (2006). NCLR Issue Brief: Improving Assessment and Accountability for English Language Learners in the No Child Left Behind Act. Click here.
April 14: AERA week, no class
April 21: Assessment and Accountability.
· Ho, A. The problem with "proficiency": Limitations of statistics and policy under No Child Left Behind. Educational Researcher, August/September 2008, 37 (6), pp. 351-360. Click here.
& Rivera, M. Principles Underlying English Language Proficiency Tests and Academic
Accountability for ELLs. In Abedi J. (ed.) English Language Proficiency
Assessment in the Nation: Current Status and Future Research. UC Davis
· Abedi, J. (2004). The No Child Left Behind Act and English Language Learners: Assessment and Accountability Issues. Educational Researcher, Jan. 2004. Click here.
Cook, H. G.,
Boals, T., Wilmes, C. & Santos, M. Issues in the Development of Annual
Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) for WIDA Consortium States.
& George, C. Establishing and Utilizing an NCLB Title III Accountability
Approach and Findings to Date. In Abedi J. (ed.) English Language Proficiency Assessment in the Nation: Current Status and Future Research. UC Davis
April 28: Assessment and Accountability: Case study Federal and state policy debate over Title III notice of interpretations.
· Notice of Proposed Interpretations (Federal Register, May 2008). Click here.
· Selected state/professional agency responses. Click here.
· Notice of Final Interpretations (Federal Register, October 2008) Click here.
Perez, M., Merickel, A. & Linquanti, R. Effects of the Implementation of
Proposition 227 on the Education of English Learners, K12: Findings from a
Hakuta, K., Haertel, E., et al. Similar English Learners, Different Results.
Gold, N. (2006)
Successful Bilingual Schools: Six Effective Programs in
May 12: Instruction
· Gersten, R., Baker, S., Shanahan, T., Linan-Thompson, S., Collins, P. & Scarcella, R. (2007) Effective Literacy and English Language Instruction for English Learners in the Elementary Grades. IES Practice Guide. Click here.
· Goldenberg, C. (2008). Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does and Does Not Say. American Educator. Click here.
· Saunders, W. & Goldenberg, C. (2009). Research to Guide English Language Development Instruction. In Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches. Click here.
May 19: Teacher Quality and Professional Development (under and beyond NCLB).
· Chait, R. (2009) From Qualifications to Results: Promoting Teacher Effectiveness through Federal Policy. Center for American Progress. Click here.
Short, D. & Fitzsimmons, S. Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to
Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language
· California Department of Education. FAQs for English Learner Teacher Authorizations. Click here.
May 26: Teacher Quality and Effectiveness with ELLs.
· Darling-Hammond, L. (2007). Evaluating No Child Left Behind. Nation. Click here.
Darling-Hammond, L, Andree, A., Richardson, N. & Orphanos, S. (2009). Professional Learning in the Learning
Profession. Technical Report. National Staff Development Council and the
School Redesign Network at
June 2: District Capacity to Support Improved Classroom Practice for ELLs
· Elmore, R. (2002). Bridging the Gap between Standards and Achievement. Albert Shanker Institute. Click here.