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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Navigating Language Policy in State Education Agencies: English Learner Reclassification in WIDA States
by Bond, Kenneth M., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2020, 142; 27831636
Abstract (Summary)

State education agencies (SEAs) play a key role in the determination of how English learner (EL) reclassification (also called EL exit) is shaped. When setting reclassification criteria, state policymakers need to determine where to set cut scores on English language proficiency (ELP) assessments as well as what other measure(s) they might use for reclassification. The cut scores and additional measures that SEAs decide upon have important implications. The level at which states set their ELP assessment cut scores impacts the size of an EL population as well as corresponding EL program services.

This mixed-methods study examines the proportional impact of higher EL reclassification cut scores on the population of students in WIDA Consortium states as well as the ways in which SEA staff members interpret, negotiate, and contest their states’ EL reclassification policies. A language policy lens is leveraged as a framework to understand the tensions of EL reclassification for SEA staff members engaged in EL policy work. The analysis of the proportional impact of higher EL reclassification has been conducted using data from states within the WIDA Consortium. The states chosen included those with matching reclassification criteria and individual states involved in qualitative interviews. Qualitative interviews were administered with one staff member from six different SEAs. Two interviews were conducted with each of the six interviewees. The interviews were centered on EL reclassification policy. The quantitative analysis produced findings related to the impact of reclassification cut scores on the EL population of the states analyzed. The qualitative analysis produced findings related to shifts in the Every Student Succeeds Act as well as SEA factors that influence the decision making of SEA staff members. Implications of the study are described at the federal-, SEA-, and local-education-agency-levels.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flores, Nelson
Commitee: Hornberger, Nancy H., Cook, H. Gary
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational and Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Education Policy
Keywords: Dual language learners, English language learners, English learners, Language policy, Reclassification, State education agency
Publication Number: 27831636
ISBN: 9798662373280
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