An Examination Of Elementary School Outcomes Between The Dual Language Program And The Transitional Bilingual Program
Lucio, Luis A
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Principals today are expected to lead and create a learning environment that is conducive for all learners. Many educational leaders, however, lack the minimum foundational skills necessary regarding second language acquisition to be able to implement the appropriate bilingual program that will allow English Language Learners (ELLs) to learn English at a level comparable to their native English speaking peers (Brookings Institution & Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, 2012). A plethora of research literature exists regarding positive and negative aspects of bilingual programs. The intent of this study was to provide guidance to elementary school leaders when implementing a bilingual program at their school campus. In this quantitative study, reading results from the current state-mandated assessment, the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR), were analyzed to compare 30 transitional early exit program elementary schools with 30 dual language one-way program elementary schools in two Texas large urban school districts. Also analyzed were the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) Reading scores between early exit program elementary schools with dual language one-way program elementary schools across the State of Texas. Data were requested and obtained from the Texas Education Agency Public Education Information Management System for the 2013-2014 and the 2014-2015 school years for Grade 3 students. Statistical analyses on the STAAR Reading test scores yielded mixed results. In the 2013-2014 school year, ELLs had better STAAR Reading test scores in the early exit transitional program than in the one-way bilingual education program; however, higher percentages of English Language Learners in the one-way dual language program met the performance standards. In the 2014-2015 school year, the STAAR Reading test scores and performance standard percentages were higher for ELLs in the one-way bilingual education program. Results on the TELPAS exam were consistent for both school years in that ELLs who were enrolled in an early exit transitional bilingual education program had higher TELPAS ratings and higher TELPAS scores than their counterparts who were enrolled in a one-way dual language bilingual education program. Based upon the results of the STAAR and the TELPAS statistical analyses, information is provided to school leaders regarding a comparison of ELL student performance in transitional early exit programs with dual language one-way bilingual education programs.