AERALeaders from the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon State University recently presented findings from our research-practitioner partnership at the 2016 American Education Research Association Annual Meeting in Washington DC. We presented alongside other IES-funded researcher-practitioner partnerships focused on English learners, sharing a typology of questions that can be explored by partnerships. For our second presentation, we shared results from our analysis of English learner students in special education.

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Dr. Thompson presented research at a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by the American Institutes for Research. Specifically, she presented information about Oregon’s newly developed Ever-EL flag that provides researchers and administrators a more accurate look into outcomes for students who enter school as English learners. Other presentations focused on identifying, supporting, and reclassifying ELs.

EdCentral summarized the briefing here.

The full presentations for the briefing are available here.

We presented findings from our partnership at annual ELL Alliance conference in Eugene from March 9-March 11, 2016. We presented our current analysis on the over- and under-representation of English learners in special education. In addition, we shared preliminary findings from our new study, Reclassification Learning Labs, which focuses on understanding how districts implement Oregon’s policies about when ELs have attained English proficiency and should exit EL services.

Topics address in our presentation about English learner students in special education included:

  • What proportion of students currently classified as English learners are in special education?
  • How does likelihood of identification for special education compare for students ever identified as English learners (Ever ELs) and other students (Never ELs) in Oregon?
  • For both Ever ELs and Never ELs, what is the likelihood of identification for special education by disability type?
  • What types of services are Ever EL students with disabilities receiving? How does this compare to services for other students?

The presentation on English learners in special education is available here. Results are preliminary and we are currently preparing a manuscript for publication on this topic.

The Reclassification Learning Labs presentation focuses on understanding:

  • How are state reclassification policies implemented in a variety of Oregon districts? What are the similarities and differences in implementation across districts?
  • What are the rationales for the ways in which districts implement the state’s reclassification policies?
  • What changes in instructional settings and services do students experience as a result of reclassification and how does this vary by district and by school?

The presentation for the Reclassification Learning Labs is available here.

A recent article by Dr. Joseph Robinson-CimpianDr. Karen Thompson, and Dr. Ilana Umansky published in the journal of Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences provides a review of the research on educational policies for English language learners. The research we review includes analysis conducted as part of the ODE/OSU ELL partnership. We summarize key research findings on four topics: 1) ELL classification and services, 2) language of instruction, 3) access to core content, and 4) assessments. In addition, we discuss implications of this research for education policy.

We are very pleased to announce that our partnership has been awarded a Research-Practice Partnership grant from the Spencer Foundation.  This award of $400,000 over three years will allow us to continue our work to improve policies and practices for ELLs in Oregon. In particular, we will focus on investigating ways to better identify and support English learner students with disabilities. We are grateful for this award and look forward to deepening our collaboration.

Read OSU’s press release about our award here.

We were pleased to share findings from our partnership at two conferences this summer. We presented at the annual conference of the Oregon Association for Bilingual Education on June 13 and at COSA’s Seaside conference for school administrators on June 18. As in our presentation this spring, we shared analysis of how long it is taking students who enter Oregon schools as ELLs to exit ELL services and information about the proportion of ELLs participating in bilingual programs over time. In addition, we also presented findings about ELLs who qualify for special education services, including:

  • The proportion of ELLs who qualify for special education over time and by grade level
  • The proportion of ELLs identified with particular types of disabilities at particular grade levels
  • The likelihood of exiting ELL services for students with particular types of disabilities

We appreciated hearing questions and ideas for future analyses from the attendees at our session and look forward to sharing more.

We presented initial findings from our joint research at COSA’s annual ELL Alliance conference in Eugene on March 12, 2015. The conference was attended by over 600 Oregon educators interested in the education of ELLs, and we appreciated receiving feedback and ideas for future analyses from the audience. Topics we addressed in our presentation included:

  • How long does it takes students who enter kindergarten as ELLs in the state to develop English proficiency and exit ELL services?
  • What are the characteristics of students who remain classified as ELLs for seven years or more?
  • What proportion of ELLs are enrolled in different types of bilingual programs and how has this changed over time?

Our presentation is available here.

I was a guest on the Jefferson Exchange to discuss the work of the ODE/OSU Partnership. Host Geoffrey Riley and I talked about the goals of our grant, the importance of looking at English language learners’ progress using longitudinal data, and more. Listen here.

A shorter interview with me about our partnership was broadcast on KLCC, as well.