E.g., 09/15/2014
E.g., 09/15/2014

The Educational Trajectories of English Language Learners in Texas

Reports
March 2012

The Educational Trajectories of English Language Learners in Texas

English Language Learner (ELL) public school students who successfully complete English as a Second Language (ESL) or bilingual education programs within three years appear to fare better in meeting basic math and reading proficiency standards than long-term ELLs, according to analysis of a unique longitudinal dataset that tracks all Texas students from first grade through high school graduation and beyond. Interestingly, Hispanic ELLs who opt out of ESL or bilingual education programs in favor of English-only courses may be particularly disadvantaged in terms of college enrollment. 

This report looks at Texas, which has the second-largest number of ELL students in the nation, to examine the trajectories and performances of different groups of ELL students (the on-time cohort and ever-ELL cohort) compared to their native-English peers.

The report also finds that students' graduation from high school may be more closely correlated with race and ethnicity than ELL status; and that the outcomes of ever-ELLs in the on-time cohort are far superior to those of the entire ELL cohort.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction: English Language Learners in Texas—A Case Study for the Nation

Outline of the Report

II. Data and Study Populations

A. Data

B. Study Populations

C. Study Outcomes

III. Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics

A. Home Languages

B. Enrollment in English Language Programs

C. Race and Ethnicity

D. Poverty by Race and Ethnicity

IV. Performance on Standardized State Math and Reading Tests

A. Test-Score Outcomes by Ever-ELL Status

B. Test-Score Outcomes by Race, Ethnicity, and Ever-ELL Status

C. Test-Score Outcomes by Time in Language Acquisition Programs: “Quick Exiters” and Long-Term ELL Students

D. Test-Score Outcomes of the On-Time Cohort versus “All Students”

E. Percentage of Students Who Achieved “Commended Performance” Levels in Math and Reading

V. Graduation and the Post-High-School Trajectories of ELL Students

A. Graduating from High School

B. Post-High-School Outcomes

C. Predicting College Entry for Ever-ELL Students: What Factors Matter the Most?

VI. Conclusions