There has been a persistent achievement gap between English Learners (ELs) and their English-only peers. Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics indicated that ELs fall behind peers at each grade level and in both language arts and mathematics [NCES] (2018). Most ELs live in inner cities, and in 2014, 21 percent of children in the inner cities were living in poverty (NCES, 2018), which contributes to the persistence of the achievement gap. Additionally, inadequate supports that ELs and reclassified fluent English proficient (RFEP) students receive in classrooms also play a large role in the academic achievement gap.
The purpose of this research was to explore the predictors of high school achievement for ELs and RFEP students. The aim of this research was to explore student variables that predict academic achievement, specifically SES, gender, ethnicity, home language, language proficiency, and special education status.
Participants include 764 students from a diverse southern California school district. Two hundred students were EL, and 562 students were RFEP. There was not a statistically significant difference in the achievement scores, as measured by CAASSP, between ELs and RFEP students. The multiple regression model for ELs was not significant, F(4,164) = 1.54, p >0.05, R2 = 0.036 indicating that the predictors collectively do not account for a significant amount of variance in academic achievement. The multiple regression RFEP students was significant, F(2,152) = 5.51, p <0.05, R2 = 0.053. Both SES (β = 76.86, t(573) = 2.99, p < 0.05) and Gender (β = 19.47, t(573) = 1.02, p < 0.05) were significant predictors of achievement for the RFEP students. These findings indicate that, in terms of achievement, ELs and RFEP students are not performing differently from each other. While RFEP students are considered proficient in English, this is not having an impact on their achievement outcomes. While the regression model for EL was not significant, instructional variables were not available and likely played a major role in these outcomes. For RFEP students, SES and gender were significant but only accounted for a small amount of variance, again indicating that it is likely that instructional factors play a bigger role in the achievement outcomes.
|Commitee:||Sawatzky, Misty, Xu, Shelley|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Education, English as a Second Language|
|Keywords:||English Learners, Language Acquisition, Language Learners, Predictors, Reclassified Fluent English Proficient, Second Language speakers|
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