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ERIC Number: ED532513
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 71
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 39
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-9845-0768-9
What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on English Language Learners. Research Report
Gwynne, Julia; Pareja, Amber Stitziel; Ehrlich, Stacy B.; Allensworth, Elaine
Consortium on Chicago School Research
One out of every seven students in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is designated as an English language learner (ELL), and 30 percent of students in the entire district have been designated as ELLs at some point while enrolled in CPS. Many of the policies, programs, and resources targeting the needs of ELL students focus on students in elementary schools. But a growing proportion of ELLs are middle and high school students who have distinctive needs that are often not well met (Capps, Fix, Murray, Ost, Passel, & Herwantoro, 2005; Ruiz-de-Velasco & Fix, 2000). The academic performance of ELLs in high school reflects their challenges. In general, they have lower grade point averages (GPAs) and earn fewer course credits in core academic subject than non-ELL students (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2011). They are also more likely to drop out of high school than their non-ELL peers (Ruiz-de-Velasco & Fix, 2000). This report examines whether ninth-grade course performance indicators are as predictive of graduation for ELLs as for the general population. To consider this question, the authors focused on a cohort of CPS ninth-grade students in 2004-05 and followed them for five years, until 2009, when most should have graduated. The report focuses primarily on Hispanic students because they represent the largest group of ninth-grade ELLs (both new and long-term ELLs) and former ELL students in Chicago; however, the authors also include the same set of analyses of course performance and graduation for white and Asian students. The authors report the following findings: (1) Ninth-grade course performance indicators predict graduation in much the same way for ninth-grade ELLs and former ELLs as for students who were never ELLs; (2) Ninth-grade course performance was a much stronger predictor of graduation than either language proficiency level or interruptions in students' CPS education; (3) Long-term proficient students performed relatively well on ninth-grade indicators and had the highest graduation rate of any group of Hispanic students, including students who did not enter CPS as ELLs; (4) Recently proficient students had middle-tier performance on ninth-grade indicators, and their graduation rates reflected this performance; (5) Long-term ELLs had the worst course performance and graduation rates of any Hispanic group; (6) New ELLs did as well as or better than any other group in their ninth-grade classes, but they graduated at lower rates than all other groups except long-term ELLs; and (7) Ninth-grade ELLs (new ELLs and long-term ELLs) were less likely to graduate than other students who had similar grades and attendance in ninth grade. Appended are: (1) On-Track Rates and Course Failures for White and Asian Students; (2) Methods for Describing Course-Taking Patterns of Ninth-Grade Students in 2004-05; (3) Four-Year Graduation Rates by Course Failures and Absences for White and Asian Students; and (4) Methods for Explaining Differences in Graduation Rates Between Hispanic Ninth-Grade ELLs and Long-Term Proficient Students. (Contains 3 tables, 41 figures and 31 endnotes.)
Consortium on Chicago School Research. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-702-3364; Fax: 773-702-2010; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National High School Center; Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: Consortium on Chicago School Research
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
IES Cited: ED558159; ED565624