The Identification of English Learner Student Groups: Affording or Obscuring Opportunity?
How have reporting and accountability requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act shined a light on important English Learner student groups? How might these requirements obscure English Learner students’ diverse needs, opportunities, and strengths? In this session, researchers and state leaders will discuss data collection and reporting considerations for different student groups within the English Learner population, including newcomers, migrant English learner students, and students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE). Panelists will also describe how these labels inform state and local policy and practice and affect English Learner student outcomes. In doing so, the session will identify both the challenges and opportunities that emerge in the application of federal reporting requirements and share best practices for identifying English Learner student groups that create possibilities for all English Learner students to reach their potential.
Allison Balter has worked with SLIFE as a teacher and leader for over a decade. She was the founding principal of a high school for newcomers and SLIFE in Lawrence, MA. Now as an SEA leader, Allison is advancing supports for SLIFE through research, guidance, and a statewide community of practice.
A former bilingual teacher in Arizona when the state passed an English-only policy, Dr. Hopkins conducts applied research projects to support state and district leaders with designing and implementing policies that promote asset-oriented, intellectually rigorous environments for multilingual learner students, families, and teachers.
Dr. Martinez-Wenzl has advanced research and guidance on newcomer immigrants, English learners, and Latinx students. She is attuned to how language and immigration labels are applied differently across disciplines and contexts. Her current work is on federal program definitions of migrant students.
Ilana Umansky is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. Her research examines how education policy impacts the educational opportunities and outcomes of immigrant, multilingual and English learner-classified students often using largescale data, and longitudinal and quasi-experimental methods.