ERIC Number: ED565778
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
English Language Learners with Disabilities in Massachusetts: Current Status and Next Steps for Identification and Instruction. A Report to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Parker, Caroline E.
Education Development Center, Inc.
While the overall student population in Massachusetts has dropped slightly in the last 10 years, the number of English language learners (ELLs) has increased by more than 50 percent. In April 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE) contracted with researchers at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), to study current practices in identifying disabilities among ELLs and in meeting their instructional needs in schools and districts across the state. The study included an online survey sent to all directors of special education and directors and coordinators of English learner education programs in districts with ELLs, as well as in-depth qualitative interviews of district directors from five school districts, and principals and teachers from four schools. The survey was completed by special education and bilingual education leaders from 64 percent of Massachusetts' districts, which serve 94 percent of ELLs across the state. At the school level, administrators and teachers met with researchers. While everyone interviewed described facing many challenges in both identifying disabilities among ELLs and in meeting the instructional needs of ELLs with disabilities, almost all individuals also described concrete ways in which they are addressing the challenges, including both systems solutions and teaching strategies. The overall findings suggest that, although Massachusetts schools and districts face challenges in meeting the instructional needs of ELLs with disabilities--challenges that include articulating the role and fidelity of implementation of a tiered system of support for ELLs and improving the integration of ELL teachers and administrators in school and district collaborative structures--there are also many practices and processes led by highly committed individuals with extensive expertise, and they are using that expertise to meet the needs of these students. The following appendices are included: (1) Interview Protocols; (2) Online Survey; and (3) Glossary of Assessment Terms. [This document was written with the assistance of Maria Paz Avery, Diana Baker, Shai Fuxman, Anna Lingan, Claudia Rinaldi, Maria Teresa Sanchez, and Michelle Schamberg.]
Descriptors: English Language Learners, Disabilities, Disability Identification, Special Education, Bilingual Education, Online Surveys, Administrator Surveys, Interviews, Student Needs, School Districts, Faculty Development, Principals, Special Education Teachers, Bilingual Teachers, Administrators, Elementary Secondary Education, Educational Practices
Education Development Center, Inc. 55 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02458-1060. Tel: 617-969-7100; Fax: 617-969-5979; Web site: http://ltd.edc.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Education Development Center, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
IES Cited: ED558163