Determining Emergent Bilingual Learner Equity in an Urban School District
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The purpose of this study was to determine the extent a Mid-Atlantic urban school district addressed emergent bilingual outcomes in grades 3-5 in public, public charter, and neighborhood charter schools in the most immigrant-dense zip code of the city. This determination was examined through three components: instructional quality, cultural inclusion, and family engagement. These three components were reviewed using a mixed methods concurrent triangulation analysis utilizing publicly available district measures, specifically school effectiveness reviews, school performance plans, school profiles, and school surveys. The instruments themselves were also examined as to their efficacy in measuring the aforementioned components as relevant to emergent bilingual outcomes.
In general, the district failed to provide equitable educational outcomes for emergent bilinguals, specifically through a lack of qualified teachers and EL-specific professional development; minimal ethnic, cultural, and lingual school and curricular inclusion; vague emergent bilingual family involvement strategies; and inadequate achievement programs explicit to emergent bilingual learning. The instruments themselves also generally failed to adequately address the measure of relevant factors affecting emergent bilingual outcomes. Several schools demonstrated promising efforts in various aspects of emergent bilingual educational outcomes, though no school encompassed all components of emergent bilingual success.