Academic Achievement Patterns of Former English Language Learners Served in a Bilingual Education Program
Guerrero, Altagracia 1972-
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Current accountability systems for programs serving English language learners (ELLs) focus on the achievement level of students who are still classified as “limited English proficient” (de Jong, 2004). Thus, there are no data documenting whether the academic achievement of this group of students is sustained beyond the year of exit. Analyzing the data of former ELLs as a student group can provide relevant information for long-term district and program accountability (de Jong, 2004). Since educators who serve this special population of students have the dual responsibility of ensuring mastery of the content area curriculum and acquisition of the English language, it is imperative that bilingual education programs are evaluated to determine the level of ELL academic success. The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term academic success of students formerly served in a bilingual education program so that achievement patterns are identified and future achievement, as measured by standardized tests, can be predicted. This research addressed the achievement patterns of former bilingual education students in math and reading, as measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). It compared the achievement rates of fifth and eighth grade students who exited the bilingual education program at different grade levels. The fifth and eighth grade 2010 TAKS data were categorized in two groups of former bilingual education students who met program exit criteria, those who met early-exit criteria at the end of first or second grade and those who met late-exit criteria at the end of third or fourth grade.