Education 330X

Teaching English Language Learners: Issues in Policy, Leadership, and Instruction

Spring Quarter, 2012

Monday and Wednesday, 9:00-10:50

Instructor:  Kenji Hakuta


The issue of addressing the needs of English Language Learners has come to the forefront of education reform in the United States primarily as a function of demographic change and a categorical focus on the student population in the current ESEA law, known as No Child Left Behind.  This course will explore key issues that arise as educators consider key problems in this area.  They include the constraints and incentives in federal laws and policies (particularly ESEA and Civil Rights laws), the Common Core State Standards, content and language proficiency standards assessment and accountability, on-going student assessment, school improvement models, school culture, community engagement, addressing issues of long-term English learners, programming for newcomer ELLs, early childhood education, and promoting bilingualism.  The course will cover basic background readings on these topics as well as those specific to English Language Learners.  Discussions will be grounded in the real-time context of a network of school districts in California that have a significant proportion of ELL students trying to address issues of instructional reform.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in some of these discussions and to conduct case studies of how theory plays out in real time in the context of California school districts.

Each week, students will be expected to write a brief (1-2 page) cover memo to accompany at least one reading assignment from the week that would summarize the paper and state why it is relevant to the practice of a school leader (either a district leader or a school principal). This is a required course assignment, and will count toward 50% of the class grade.

The other requirement for the course will be a final paper (no more than 10 pages) that takes a particular school improvement strategy (e.g., professional development, student assessment, schoolwide culture, parent engagement, targeting subgroups of students), elaborates on the research and knowledge base, and makes some specific recommendations.

Week of 1

Policy History

Slides 4/2/12

Hakuta, K. Educating Language Minority Students and Affirming their Equal Rights: 
Research and Practical Perspectives (AERA Brown Lecture). Click here.

Glance (do not attempt to read!) and highlight portions from NCLB: Title I and Title III law. Click here.

Three OCR memoranda (5/25/70, 4/6/90, 9/27/91)

Week of 2

Federal Legislation: The Case of Title III

Slides 4/9/12; 4/11/12

Ramsey, A. & O'Day, J. (March, 2010) Title III Policy: State of the States. ESEA Evaluation Brief: The English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. American Insitutes for Research. Click here.

Boyle, A., Taylor, J., Hurlbut, S & Soga, K. (March, 2010). Title III Accountability: Behind the Numbers. ESEA Evaluation Brief: The English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. American Insitutes for Research. Click here.

Tanenbaum, C. & Anderson, L. (March, 2010). Title III Accountability and District Improvement Efforts: A Closer Look. ESEA Evaluation Brief: The English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. American Insitutes for Research. Click here.

Working Group on ELL Policy recommendations. Click here.

Week 3


Slides 4/18/12 4/23/12

Understanding Language Initiative.

Center for K-12 Assessment & Performance Management, ETS (2012). Coming Together to Raise Achievement: New Assessments for the Common Core State Standards. April, 2012.

James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy. (2010). Common Core Standards: General Brief. Chapel Hill, NC: Author. Available at

Week 4

School Organization, Leadership, Trust and English Language Learners

Slides 4/25/12

Reading: Bryk, A., Sebring, P., Allensworth, E., Luppescu, S. & Easton, J. (2010), Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Williams, T., Hakuta, K., Haertel, E., et al. (2007). Similar English Learner Students, Different Results: Why Do Some Schools Do Better? A follow-up analysis, based on a large-scale survey of California elementary schools serving low-income and EL students. Mountain View, CA: EdSource. Click here.

Council of Great City Schools (2009). Succeeding with English Language Learners: Lessons Learned from the Great City Schools. Washington, DC: Council of Great City Schools. Click here.

Week 5

Research-based practices

Slides 5/7/12 5/9/12

Goldenberg, C. & Coleman, R. Promoting Academic Achievement among English Learners: A Guide to the Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Purchase or Library.

Week 6

Long-term English Language Learners

Slides 5/16/12

Olsen, L. (2010). Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California's Long Term English Learners. Long Beach: Californians Together. Click here.

Short, Deborah J.; Fitzsimmons, Shannon, Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learner.  New York:  Carnegie Corporation of New York. 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. Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Click here.

Week 7

Research-based collaboration and culture.

Slides 5/21/12

Rosen, L. Examining a Novel Partnership for Educational Innovation: Promises and Complexities of Cross-Institutional Collaboration. In C. Coburn & M. K. Stein (eds.) (2010). Research and Practice in Education: Building Alliances, Bridging Divide. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Purchase or Library Reserve.

Ikemoto, G. S. & Honig, M. Tools to Deepen Practitioners' Engagement with Research: The Case of the Institute for Learning. In Coburn & Stein

Coburn, C. The Partnership for District Change: Challenges of Evidence Use in a Major Urban District. In Coburn & Stein.

Hubbard, L. Research to Practice: A Case Study of Boston Public Schools. In Coburn & Stein

Week 8

School and district turnaround

SFUSD SIG Grant Application Summary

SFUSD SIG Grant Application - Full Application


Herman, R., Dawson, P., Dee, T., Greene, J., Maynard, R., Redding, S., and Darwin, M. (2008). Turning around chronically low-performing schools: A practice guide (NCEE #2008-4020). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Available at

Mathis, WJ. (2009). NCLB’s ultimate restructuring alternatives: Do they improve the quality of education? East Lansing, MI: The Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice. Available at

Center on Education Policy. (2008). A call to restructure restructuring: Lessons from the No Child Left Behind Act in five states. Washington, DC: Author. Available at

Talbert, J.E., & David, J.L. (2010). Turning around a high-poverty school district: Learning from Sanger Unified’s success.

DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Karhanek, G. (2004). Under no circumstances blame the kids: Sanger Unified School District. In Raising the bar and closing the gap: Whatever it takes (pp. 151-162 and 200-201). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. Available for purchase at

Moore, D. (n.d). Direct instruction: Targeted strategies for student success. Los Angeles, CA: Hampton Brown.

Week 9

Charter Schools and Alternative Programs for ELLs.

Slides 5/30/12

META, Inc. (2009). Charter Schools and English Language Learners in Massachusetts: Policy Push without the Data. Issue Brief - September, 2009. Multicultural Education, Training & Advocacy, Inc. Click here.

Frankenberg, E., Siegel-Hawley, G., Wang, J. (2010). Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards. Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. Click here.

Fine, M., Stoudt, B. & Futch, V. (2005).. The Internationals Network for Public Schools: A Quantitative and Qualitative Cohort Analysis of Graduation and Dropout Rates. The Graduate Center: CUNY. Click here.

Francis, D., Rivera, M., Lesaux, N., Kieffer, M., & Rivera, H. (2006). Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learners: Research-Based Recommendations for Serving Adolescent Newcomers. (Under cooperative agreement grant S283B050034 for U.S. Department of Education). Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation, Center on Instruction. Click here.

Week 10

Early Childhood Programs.

Slides 6/4/12

Espinosa, Linda (2008). Challenging Common Myths about Young English Language Learners. Foundation for Child Development. click here.

California Department of Education (2008).  Preschool Learning Foundations.

California Department of Education.  Preschool Curriculum Framework (2010).