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ERIC Number: ED553937
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-2615-4
Algebra for All and Its Relationship to English Language Learner's Opportunity-to-Learn and Algebra I Success Rates
Veith, Velma
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
English as a Second Language (ESL) learners' access and achievement in Algebra I was examined to determine whether ESL students continue to be denied equal opportunity-to-learn (OTL) as a result of unnecessary tracking practices. In this quasi-experiment, a pre-post retrospective comparison group design was used to determine the effects of the California "Algebra for All" (2005) initiative. Two dependent variables, OTL and California Standards-Based Test (CST) Algebra I success, were measured. This retrospective comparison group design allowed for an analysis of the difference between post- (2012) and pre-intervention (2004) Algebra I scores. Three independent variables in this study were examined: (1) LAUSD versus seventeen large urban school districts, (2) White vs. ESL students, and (3) differential implementation of "Algebra for All" from 2004 to 2012 in eighteen large urban school districts. Four research questions were addressed: 1) To what extent, if any, have large urban school districts in California increased ESL access to early Algebra between 2004 and 2012?; 2) To what extent, if any, have large urban school districts in California decreased the gap between ESL and White student access to early Algebra between 2004 and 2012?; 3) To what extent, if any, have large urban school districts in California increased ESL success in Algebra I between 2004 and 2012?; and 4) To what extent, if any, have large urban school districts in CA decreased the gap between ESL and White student Algebra I success between 2004 and 2012? The 2005 "Algebra for All initiative" in all but two districts, Long Beach and Elk Grove, led to more equitable changes. Seven of the eighteen large districts in this study, each with 31% or higher ESL student population, increased ESL opportunity-to-learn by 50% or more since the year 2004. These districts were Anaheim, Lodi, San Francisco, San Bernardino, Stockton, Moreno Valley, and Mt. Diablo. The mean percent change in ESL OTL was 38%. The 2012 ESL Algebra I opportunity-to-learn data were equally promising. The top three districts with OTL rates greater than or equal to 90% were San Francisco, Stockton and Moreno Valley. In addition to these three districts, Mt. Diablo, Corona- Norco, San Bernardino, and San Diego districts had ESL 2012 OTL rates greater than 80%. Fifteen out of the eighteen districts had an ESL OTL rate greater than 50 percent. The median 2012 district level OTL rate was 63%. Since the inception of the 2005 "Algebra for All" state initiative, seventeen out of eighteen large school districts improved ESL Algebra I success rates by over 20%. Within all 18 districts, the improvement ranged from 8% to 60%. In all but Elk Grove, increases in success ranged from 22% in Sacramento to 60% in Anaheim. The median success rate change for all 18 districts was 32%. Aside from two districts, Riverside and Stockton, in which ESL students experienced larger success changes than White students, there were substantial success changes. California school districts made great strides for ESL learners in 2012 in comparison to 2004. Thus, the January 16, 2013, State Board of Education decision to end the 2005 "Algebra for All" push for Algebra I at grade eight is reason for great alarm. Despite acknowledging improvements in Latino enrollment which nearly tripled to 63% and Latino proficiency rates doubled to 42 percent, the state's concern for the other 60% who were not proficient, coupled with the fact that only one in five of those who repeated the class scored proficient, was reasonable cause for them to stop "Algebra for All" (Fensterwald, 2013). Parenthetically, the problem with the new decision to stop Algebra I by grade 8 is that it will only apply to "some" students and not all. Predicted is a decline from the two-third eighth grade enrollment in Algebra I as a result of the Common Core's gradual approach to Algebra I. Lastly, Algebra I grade 8 advocates warn that inconsistencies in the current state decision such as (1) unclear language standards stressing acceleration to Algebra I, (2) not testing for Algebra I in grade 8 which may lead to both a "path of least resistance" and more teacher bias (cited in Fensterwald, 2013), and (3) the lack of state incentives will, in essence, only serve to deny student's their civil right to OTL as initiated by NCLB. Instead of "No Children Left Behind", this current legislation will contribute to "ESL Students Left Behind." (Abstract shortened by UMI.). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California