First Advisor

John F. Heflin

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Public School Administration and Supervision






English language -- Study and teaching -- Oregon -- Foreign speakers, Bilingual Education -- Oregon, School districts -- Oregon



Physical Description

4, ix, 219 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


Currently there is a national policy debate on the issue of appropriate educational programs for language minority students. This study addresses the issue at the state level, asking: Are ESL/bilingual education policies in Oregon school districts providing equal educational opportunity for language minority students? The purpose of the study is to document ESL/bilingual policies in Oregon school districts, and to analyze them in terms of their contribution to equality of educational opportunity. Policy analysis serves as the theoretical framework for the study because of its potential as a synthesizing paradigm for studies in educational administration. The Policy Process Model (Heflin, 1981), incorporates three stages: (a) policy formulation, (b) policy implementation, and (c) policy impact. The research questions correspond to these three stages, and seek to analyze policy in eight areas pertinent to ESL/bilingual education. (1) Identification and assessment; (2) Instructional programs; (3) Primary language usage; (4) Exiting and mainstreaming; (5) Recognition of minority group cultures; (6) Parental involvement; (7) Personnel requirements; (8) Program evaluation. Survey research was chosen as an efficient method of gathering data from a large number of subjects throughout a widespread geographical area. The design of the survey instrument included an analysis of legal and theoretical bases for educating language minority students, expert input, and field testing. The entire population of 305 Oregon school districts was surveyed. A 93.8 percent response rate was obtained. The analysis of data produced the following conclusions: (1) There is a large and growing population of limited-English proficient (LEP) students in Oregon schools. Although most districts provide some type of programs for LEPs, district policy is rarely mentioned as the reason for doing so. (2) Implementation varies widely from district to district, in the absence of clear statewide standards for effective education for language minority students. (3) Only nine percent of districts reporting LEP students implement ESL/bilingual policies that apparently are in complete compliance with federal and state laws. (4) Only two percent implement policies that concur with basic principles for educating language minority students. (5) A district's level of compliance with the laws and concurrence with basic principles do not correlate with district size; rather with numbers or percentages of LEP students in the district.


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Portland State University. School of Education.

Persistent Identifier