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ERIC Number: EJ1119741
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0162-3737
To Be or Not to Be EL: An Examination of the Impact of Classifying Students as English Learners
Umansky, Ilana M.
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v38 n4 p714-737 Dec 2016
Across the United States, students who are deemed not to be proficient in English are classified as English learners (ELs). This classification entitles students to specialized services but may also result in stigmatization and barriers to educational opportunity. This article uses a regression discontinuity design to estimate the effect of EL classification in kindergarten on students' academic trajectories. Furthermore, it explores whether the effect of EL classification differs for students in English immersion versus bilingual programs. I find that among language-minority students who enter kindergarten with relatively advanced English proficiency, EL classification results in a substantial negative net impact on math and English language arts test scores in Grades 2 through 10. This effect, however, is concentrated in English immersion classrooms.
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: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B090016; R305A110670