however, ELLs in these programs
generally catch up and perform as
well as or better than their peers in
English immersion. Evaluations of the
effectiveness of ELL instructional programs should track students through
elementary and into middle and high
school using a variety of outcome
measures—and given the value of
bilingualism, evaluations, when possible, should also measure students’
literacy in their home language.
Looking to the Research
As the population of English language
learners in U.S. schools grows, and as
we gain more understanding of both
these students’ rich assets and their
struggles in school, it’s important that
school leaders have access to good
information about the most effective
instructional programs for ELLs. We
hope our research contributes to the
body of evidence available to educators. Based on our findings, we
suggest that, where possible, states and
school districts use their resources to
develop and support high-quality two-language programs that meet the needs
of their students and communities. EL
1Additional details about the research
and methods used in this study can be
found in Umansky & Reardon (2014)
and Valentino & Reardon (in press). The
results we report here are slightly modified versions of the findings from those
papers. Specifically, the findings regarding
English proficiency and reclassification
are adapted from those in Umansky &
Reardon (2014). They differ from that
analysis in two ways: they are based on
all ELL students (rather than only Latino
ELLs) and are based on models that, in
addition to controlling for school and
student characteristics, statistically control
for parental preferences for ELL programs.
Academic results are consistent with
reporting in the Valentino & Reardon (in
Authors’ note: This research was supported by grant award #R305A110670
from the Institute for Education Sciences
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Ilana M. Umansky (ilanau@uoregon
.edu) is assistant professor, Department
of Educational Methodology, Policy, and
Leadership, in the College of Education
at the University of Oregon. Rachel A.
Valentino ( email@example.com) is a
recent graduate of Stanford University’s
education policy doctoral program and is
now working as an education consultant.
Sean F. Reardon ( sean.reardon@
stanford.edu) is the endowed professor
of Poverty and Inequality in Education at