Areas of Expertise
English Language Learners
AIR operates a center to address the specific needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) by strengthening the connections between knowledge, practice, and policy development. AIR’s work emphasizes integration of English language learning skills across content areas, providing research to inform policy development around best practices for teaching ELLs, and technical assistance to support such practice. Specific topics include access to preschool, alternative assessments, evaluations of relevant federal and state policies, and analysis of effective strategies to improve English language learning.
Teachers matter. Educators, policymakers, and the general public alike agree that great teachers are vital to a thriving K-12 education system, yet the pathways to assembling a high quality teaching force remain elusive. This case study of Garden Grove Unified School District, winner of the 2004 Broad Prize for Urban Education, explores the district culture and commitment to continuous improvement that produce effective practices of human capital development and enable these practices to achieve success.
This paper describes a research project which drew on longitudinal student data in two states to examine the validity of existing English Language Learner (ELL) reclassification systems—the process by which ELL students are reclassified as fully English proficient and ready to function without special services.
Learning from the Past: Drawing on California’s CLAS Experience to Inform Assessment of the Common Core
The Common Core State Standards represent an exciting step forward for California and for the nation as a whole in supporting strong instruction that can better prepare students for college and career success. As educators embrace the challenges associated with assessment of the Common Core, it is instructive to learn from the California Learning Assessment System (CLAS) experience in the early 1990s—both to build on its successes and to avoid the mistakes that led to its demise.
Currently, staff from the Center for English Language Learners are involved in technical assistance work related to the Common Core.
The California Collaborative on District Reform joins researchers, district practitioners, state policy actors, and funders in on-going evidence-based dialogue and collective problem-solving to improve outcomes for all students in California school systems, with an emphasis on the over 1.5 million ELLs in California schools.
The policy work of the Center for English Language Learners currently focuses on analysis of state and federal policies and assistance to federal and state policymakers on issues relevant to ELLs.