Similar English Learner Students, Different Results: Why Do Some Schools Do Better?
EdSource is an independent, impartial, not-for-profit research and communications organization whose mission is to clarify complex education issues and to promote thoughtful policy decisions about public school improvement. Since 1977, EdSource has served as a credible and respected source in California of K-12 education information, research, analysis, and data. EdSource's work focuses on the nexus between state and federal education policy and local district and school reforms. The organization publishes a series of single topic reports each year, hosts three websites, and convenes an annual Forum on California Education Policy that is open to the public.
In recent years, EdSource has become increasingly involved as project directors or partners on collaborative research projects with outstanding researchers in independent firms or on university faculty. EdSource previously served as a subcontractor to AIR and RAND in the four-year evaluation of California's K-3 class size reduction research consortium. From 2003-2006, EdSource was the prime contractor for a collaborative research project called Similar Students, Different Results. As a follow up, Similar English Learner Students, Different Results: Why Do Some Schools Do Better? reports the findings of an extended data analysis overseen by EdSource and conducted by researchers from Stanford University and the American Institutes for Research, with advisory consultation from WestEd.
EdSource’s audience includes individuals and organizations interested in K-12 policy and reform: policymakers, researchers, K–12 and college educators, education media, business and civic leaders, allied organizations, and parent and community leaders.
Trish Williams has served as EdSource's Executive Director since 1992 and has been the study project director for both the Similar Students and the Similar English Learner Students research projects. Under Trish's leadership, EdSource has expanded its research role, broadened the education policy topics it researches and reports on, diversified and significantly increased its audience reach within California and nationally, and established a reputation as a premier resource for high quality and impartial information, research, data, and analysis. Besides Similar Schools, Different Results, EdSource has conducted other surveys, including one the past two years with California’s 500+ charter schools, and participated on major research or evaluation teams, including California's Class Size Reduction Research Consortium and the state funded II/USP evaluation. Before coming to EdSource, Williams had served as a Presidential Management Intern and then as a management analyst for three years in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She subsequently served eight years as a program and policy consultant to the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, a statewide agency with oversight powers over the state departments serving children. Williams holds a B.A. degree in English Literature and a M.A. degree in Public Policy from her hometown school, the University of Tulsa.
Kenji Hakuta, principal investigator for the study, is an experimental psycholinguist by training, best known for his work in the areas of bilingualism and the acquisition of English in immigrant students. He is the author of numerous research papers and books, including Mirror of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism and In Other Words: The Science and Psychology of Second Language Acquisition. He chaired a National Academy of Sciences report Improving Schooling for Language-Minority Children, and co-edited a book on affirmative action in higher education, Compelling Interest: Examining the Evidence on Racial Dynamics in Higher Education. Hakuta is also active in education policy. He has testified to Congress and other public bodies on a variety of topics, including language policy, the education of language minority students, affirmative action in higher education, and improvement of quality in educational research. Hakuta received a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Psychology and Social Relations as well as a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University. He has been at Stanford as Professor of Education since 1989, except for three years (2003-2006) when he helped start the University of California at Merced as its Founding Dean of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. His prior academic appointments have been at Yale University (Psychology), and the University of California at Santa Cruz (Education). He was a Fellow at the Center Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, is an elected Member of the National Academy of Education and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Linguistics and Language Sciences). He currently serves on the Board of the Educational Testing Service and is Vice Chair of the Board of the Spencer Foundation.
Edward H. Haertel, senior technical advisor, is an expert in educational testing and assessment. He is Professor of Education and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at Stanford University, where his research centers on policy uses of achievement test data; the measurement of school learning; statistical issues in testing and accountability systems; and the impact of testing on curriculum and instruction. Haertel has been closely involved in the creation and maintenance of California's school accountability system and has served on advisory committees for other states and for testing companies. In addition to technical issues in designing accountability systems and quantifying their precision, Haertel is concerned with validity arguments for high-stakes testing, the logic and implementation of standard-setting methods, and comparisons of trends on different tests and in different reporting metrics. His recent publications include Uses and misuses of data for educational accountability and improvement (2006, co-edited with Joan L. Herman), "Reliability" (2006, chapter in Educational Measurement, 4th ed.), and "Validating standards-based test score interpretations" (2004, with William A. Lorié). Haertel has served as president of the National Council on Measurement in Education and as a member of the National Assessment Governing Board. He chairs an advisory committee concerned with California's test-based school accountability system. He has served on numerous state and national advisory committees related to educational testing, assessment, and evaluation, including the Joint Committee responsible for the most recent revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and is a member of the National Academy of Education.
Michael W. Kirst, policy consultant for the study, is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University. He is a faculty affiliate with the Department of Political Science and has a courtesy appointment with the Graduate School of Business. Kirst was a member of the California State Board of Education (1975-1982) and its president from 1977 to 1981. Before joining the Stanford faculty, he held positions with the federal government including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty, and Director of Program Planning and Evaluation for the Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Education in the U.S. Office of Education. He has been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences; a member of the National Academy of Education since 1979; Vice-President of the American Educational Research Association; and commissioner of the Education Commission of the States. He co-founded Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and is on the management/research staff of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education His numerous articles address school finance politics, curriculum politics, intergovernmental relations, and education reform policies. Recent books include The Political Dynamics of American Education (2005) and From High School to College (2004). Kirst holds a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College, an M.P.A. in Government and Economics as well as a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University.
Jesse D. Levin, principal analyst for this report and its predecessor, is a Senior Research Scientist at American Institutes for Research (AIR) where he has been involved in projects investigating educational production, finance, and adequacy. Currently, he serves as Project Director for three projects: An Independent Comprehensive Study of the New Mexico Public School Funding Formula, Understanding the Implementation of Weighted Student Funding in California, and the Comprehensive High School Reform Resource Allocation Study. Previous work has included serving as Principal Analyst on Efficiency and Adequacy in California School Finance: A Professional Judgment Approach, Deputy Project Director and Principal Analyst on the New York Adequacy Study, Principal Analyst for the expenditure analysis component of the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS). Before joining AIR, Dr. Levin served as an Economic Researcher for the Institute for Research of Schooling, Labor Market and Economic Development (SCHOLAR) in the Netherlands, where he conducted research in the economics of education and labor economics. His dissertation, Essays in the Economics of Education won honorable mention in the 2003-2004 Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Dissertation Award. He has also served as a referee for Economics of Education Review and Empirical Economics. Levin received his Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam and the Tinbergen Institute in 2002.
Robert Linquanti, advisor to the research team, is Project Director and Senior Research Associate at WestEd. He helps states and districts improve their assessment, evaluation, and accountability policies, practices, and systems for English Learners. He has assisted California and several other states to analyze data and develop policies for implementing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title III and serves as consultant to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the WIDA State Consortium, and the US Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) on state Title III assessment and accountability issues and guidance. He also leads professional development institutes and provides technical assistance to local education agencies on implementing NCLB and evaluating EL services for accountability and improvement. Linquanti also served as Associate Project Director of the legislatively mandated five-year evaluation study of California's Proposition 227. He published and presented widely on evaluating EL education policies, language proficiency assessment and EL reclassification, and improving accountability for ELs. Publications include his 2001 policy report on EL reclassification for the University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute, and a chapter on California's Title III accountability system in a volume in press for the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). Linquanti earned a B.A. in English and Spanish Literature and linguistics from SUNY-Buffalo; did graduate work in linguistics at the University of Madrid; and received an M.P.A. in Public Policy Analysis from Columbia University, where he was a Columbia Public Service Fellow.
Other members of the research team from EdSource:
Mary Perry is Deputy Director of EdSource. At EdSource since 1993, she is widely known for her expertise in California school finance. In 2006-06, she was the study project director for a collaborative partnership between EdSource and School Services of California under the auspices of the Getting Down to Facts portfolio of school finance studies. That work yielded a report of findings in March 2007 called School District Finance Management: Personnel, Policies, and Practices. Perry works with the executive director on administration and manages the planning and administration of the annual publication program, website, and various special projects, including the Ed-Data Partnership website. As the senior publications writer, she is the managing editor of all EdSource publications and the primary author of several of its publications each year. She served as a member of the governing board of the Campbell Union School District from 1990-99, including two years as board president, and also chaired a local bond election campaign. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon and a M.A. in Liberal Arts from Stanford University.
Noli Brazil, research analyst, has been at EdSource since 2003. In addition to his analytic and technical support on this study, he is responsible for providing research and writing support for all program activities, including identifying, compiling, analyzing, interpreting, and visually representing education statistics and other relevant data for EdSource Online, the Ed-Data Partnership website, various publications, and EdSource’s 2005 Similar Students collaborative research project and 2007 extended analysis related to EL education. His experience before joining EdSource includes being a research assistant in the Cognitive Science and Education Departments at U.C. Berkeley and a finance intern at Merrill Lynch. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.S. in Statistics from Stanford University. (Noli is no longer at EdSource.)
Isabel Oregón has been a Research Associate at EdSource since August 2004. In addition to her work on this study, she is responsible for conducting research, policy, and data analysis with a particular emphasis on school finance issues. She provides support for publications and for other program activities including EdSource Online, EdSource En Español, and the Ed-Data Partnership website. Her experience before joining EdSource includes being a graduate research assistant at the Charles A. Dana Center, legislative intern for The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, research team leader for the Independent Colleges and University of Texas, policy intern at The Education Trust – West, legislative intern for The Texas House Committee on Higher Education, and reference assistant at the Congressional Research Service. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.A. in Public Affairs from the University of Texas, Austin. (Isabel is no longer at EdSource.)