This research was funded by Russell Sage Project 88-06-12. It was also supported by Grant 5 R24 HD042849, awarded to the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers, Academic achievement -- Effect of ESL placement on, Language and education -- United States
The 1974 Lau decision requires that U.S. public schools ensure a meaningful education for students learning English. English as a Second Language (ESL) placement is an institutional response to the linguistic needs of these students; however, its academic implications remain largely unexplored. Using nationally representative data from the Educational Longitudinal Study (ELS), the effects of ESL placement on college preparatory course enrollment and academic achievement of language minority students are estimated, first with fixed effects regression models and then with multi-level propensity score matching techniques. While numerous school and individual level factors beyond language proficiency predict ESL placement, a significant negative estimated effect of ESL placement on science enrollment and cumulative GPA is consistently found. Perhaps more important, however, no positive effects of ESL placement on the achievement of language minority youth are found when accounting for English proficiency and other potential covariates.
Callahan, Rebecca; Wilkinson, Lindsey; and Muller, Chandra, "Academic Achievement and Course Taking Among Language Minority Youth in U.S. Schools: Effects of ESL Placement" (2010). Sociology Faculty Publications and Presentations. 51.