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ERIC Number: EJ1104637
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-161X
Equitable Access for Secondary English Learner Students: Course Taking as Evidence of EL Program Effectiveness
Callahan, Rebecca M.; Shifrer, Dara
Educational Administration Quarterly, v52 n3 p463-496 Aug 2016
Purpose: English learner (EL) education policy has long directed schools to address EL students' linguistic "and" academic development without furthering inequity or segregation. The recent Every Student Succeeds Act reauthorization expresses a renewed focus on evidence of equity, effectiveness, and opportunity to learn. We propose that high school course taking patterns provide evidence of program effectiveness and equity in access. Research Design: Using data from the nationally representative Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002, we employ multinomial regression models to predict students' likelihood of completing two types of high school coursework (basic graduation, college preparatory) by their linguistic status. Findings: Despite considerable linguistic, sociodemographic, and academic controls, marked disparities in high school course taking patterns remain, with EL students experiencing significantly less academic exposure. Implications for Policy and Practice: Building on McKenzie and Scheurich's notion of an equity trap and evidence of a long-standing EL opportunity gap, we suggest that school leaders might use our findings and their own course taking patterns to prompt discussions about the causes and consequences of local EL placement processes. Such discussions have the potential to raise awareness about how educators and school leaders approach educational equity and access, key elements central to the spirit of EL education policy.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Lau v Nichols
Grant or Contract Numbers: HRD0834177; HRD0965444; 5R24HD042849