Matching Items (5)

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A study of school finance in Arizona: equity, English language learners, and the allocation of funding

Description

ABSTRACT

Closing the achievement gap between low-income, marginalized, racially, and linguistically diverse students has proven difficult. Research has outlined the effects of funding on student achievement in a manner that focuses

ABSTRACT

Closing the achievement gap between low-income, marginalized, racially, and linguistically diverse students has proven difficult. Research has outlined the effects of funding on student achievement in a manner that focuses the attention on dollars expended, in order overcome barriers to learning. Arizona has long been recognized for its education funding disparity, and its inability to balance fiscal capacity in a manner that serves to improve educational outcomes.

This dissertation examines how Arizona funds its education system. It measures horizontal inequity in a robust manner by examining those fiscal capacity resources directly related to learning and poverty. Recognizing districts with higher concentrations of special needs students will impact fiscal capacity at the district level, this dissertation applies a non-linear analysis to measure how English language learners/ limited English proficient (ELL/ LEP) student proportionality impacts federal and state revenue per pupil, ELL expenditures per pupil, and total expenditures per pupil.

Using the Gini Ratio, McCloone Index, Coefficient of Variation, and Theil inequality index, this dissertation confirms that significant education funding disparity exists across Arizona’s school districts. This dissertation also shows the proportion of English language learners is negatively related to local revenue per pupil, and ELL expenditures per ELL pupil.

Arizona has characteristically funded the public education system inequitably and positioned its students in a manner that stratifies achievement gaps based on wealth. Targeted funding toward ELLs is in no way meaningfully related to the proportion of ELLs in a district. Conceptually the way in which equity is defined, and measured, may require re-evaluation, beyond correlated inputs and outputs. This conceptual re-evaluation of equity must include the decision making process of administrative leaders which influence the quality of those resources related to student learning.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Language policy, teacher beliefs, and practice: implications for English language learners in mathematics

Description

In 2007, Arizona voters passed House Bill (HB) 2064, a law that fundamentally restructured the Structured English Immersion (SEI) program, putting into place a 4-hour English language development (ELD) block

In 2007, Arizona voters passed House Bill (HB) 2064, a law that fundamentally restructured the Structured English Immersion (SEI) program, putting into place a 4-hour English language development (ELD) block for educating English language learners (ELLs). Under this new language policy, ELL students are segregated from their English-speaking peers to receive a minimum of four hours of instruction in discrete language skills with no contextual or native language support. Furthermore, ELD is separate from content-area instruction, meaning that language and mathematics are taught as two separate entities. While educators and researchers have begun to examine the organizational structure of the 4-hour block curriculum and implications for student learning, there is much to be understood about the extent to which this policy impacts ELLs opportunities to learn mathematics. Using ethnographic methods, this dissertation documents the beliefs and practices of four Arizona teachers in an effort to understand the relationship between language policy and teacher beliefs and practice and how together they coalesce to form learning environments for their ELL students, particularly in mathematics. The findings suggest that the 4-hour block created disparities in opportunities to learn mathematics for students in one Arizona district, depending on teachers' beliefs and the manner in which the policy was enacted, which was, in part, influenced by the State, district, and school. The contrast in cases exemplified the ways in which policy, which was enacted differently in the various classes, restricted teachers' practices, and in some cases resulted in inequitable opportunities to learn mathematics for ELLs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Pathways of knowing: integrating citizen science and critical thinking in the adult ELL classroom

Description

This action research study examines what common perceptions and constructs currently exist in educating adult immigrants in Arizona and considers how might the integration of citizen science with the current

This action research study examines what common perceptions and constructs currently exist in educating adult immigrants in Arizona and considers how might the integration of citizen science with the current English curriculum promote higher order thinking and educational equity in this population. A citizen science project called the Mastodon Matrix Project was introduced to a Level 2 ELAA (English Language Acquisition for Adults) classroom and aligned with the Arizona Adult Standards for ELAA education. Pre and post attitudinal surveys, level tests, and personal meaning maps were implemented to assess student attitudes towards science, views on technology, English skills, and knowledge gained as a result of doing citizen science over a period of 8 weeks.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Link, depth, and breadth: comparing Arizona's ELP standards to the Common Core and WIDA

Description

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (2001) was a tipping point for the requirement of academic and English language proficiency standards. Yet, there continue to be variations among English language proficiency

No Child Left Behind (NCLB) (2001) was a tipping point for the requirement of academic and English language proficiency standards. Yet, there continue to be variations among English language proficiency standards linked and aligned to academic content standards across states, districts, and schools (Golden, 2011). The purpose of this research was to examine how the requirement of only linking language proficiency standards to academic content standards has impacted the quality of Arizona English Language Proficiency Standards with the Common Core English Language Arts State Standards and WIDA Standards at grades 2, 7, and 9. A modified version of Cook's (2007) method was used to determine the standards alignment as well as common and uncommon knowledge between the sets of standard. Results indicate no alignment and limited linkage. Findings also showed absence of grade-level academic content and academic language.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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English language learners in Arizona public schools: challenges and opportunities for achieving quality language development

Description

Arizona's English Language Development Model (ELD Model) is intended to increase and accelerate the learning of English by English Language Learners (ELLs), so that the students can then be ready,

Arizona's English Language Development Model (ELD Model) is intended to increase and accelerate the learning of English by English Language Learners (ELLs), so that the students can then be ready, when they know the English language, to learn the other academic subjects together with their English speaking peers. This model is part of a response to comply with the Flores Consent Order to improve services for ELLs in Arizona public schools. Whether or not it actually has improved instruction for ELLs has been the subject of much debate and, in 2012, after four years of the requirement to use Arizona's ELD Model, the ELL students who were identified as reclassified for the six districts in the study did not pass the Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test. The model's requirement to separate students who are not proficient from students who are proficient, the assessment used for identification of ELLs, and the Structured English Immersion four hours of English only instruction are at the nexus of the controversy, as the courts accepted the separate four hour SEI portion of the model for instruction as sufficient to meet the needs of ELLs in Arizona (Garcia, 2011, Martinez, 2012, Lawton, 2012, Lillie, 2012). This study examines student achievement in Reading and Math as measured by AIMS standards-based tests in six urban K-8 public school districts between 2007-2012. This period was selected to cover two years before and four years after the ELD model was required. Although the numbers of ELLs have decreased for the State and for the six urban elementary districts since the advent of the Arizona ELD Model, the reclassified ELL subgroup in the studied districts did not pass the AIMS for all the years in the study. Based on those results, this study concludes with the following recommendations. First, to study the coming changes in the language assessments and their impact on ELLs' student achievement in broad and comprehensive ways; second, to implement a model change allowing school districts to support their ELLs in their first language; and, finally, to establish programs that will allow ELLs full access to study with their English speaking peers.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012