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ERIC Number: ED565728
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Massachusetts Charter Public Schools: Best Practices Serving English Language Learners. White Paper No. 140
Candal, Cara Stillings
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research
In recent years many charter public schools in Massachusetts have increased the number of English language learners (ELLs) that they enroll. A 2010 amendment to the charter school law has made it easier for charter schools to recruit English language learners. The success that many charter schools have had with this subset of students defies critics who claim that charter schools "cream" students, attracting and retaining only those who are "easiest to teach." Case studies of high-achieving charter schools with large and sometimes culturally and linguistically diverse populations of English language learners reveal common best practices. These practices include but are not limited to: individually tailored curricula that emphasize inclusive teaching practices; intentional and continuous use of high-quality formative assessments; language-enriched learning environments; recruitment and retention of teachers with knowledge of the communities that the school serves; and efforts to engage parents and community that are attuned to relevant cultural and linguistic contexts. The following report highlights three high-performing charter schools, detailing the common best practices that they continue to use and refine and highlighting the subtle but important ways each school caters to its specific student population. The case studies make clear that the autonomies that these schools enjoy because of their charter status allow them to be nimble in serving a changing student population. The same autonomies also enable these schools to design and refine approaches to serving English language learners that enhance student learning and achievement.
Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. 185 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 617-723-2277; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, Center for School Reform
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts; Massachusetts (Boston)