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.
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.
This overview provides an introduction to four briefs developed by AIR about different aspect of the Fresno-Long Beach Learning Partnership, and calls out key lessons for district leaders, policymakers, funders, and researchers.
In the past year, staff from the Center for English Language Learners have been involved in technical assistance work related to the Common Core.
Leaders in New York contracted with AIR in 2005 when they wanted to know which practices and strategies were working for ELLs in their schools and districts. On behalf of the New York State Education Department and the New York City Department of Education, AIR has engaged schools and districts cited as being in corrective action throughout the state of New York.
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.