Friday, October 25, 2013

The Effect of Grade Placement on English Language Learners’ Academic Achievement

Many English Language Learners (ELLs) migrate to the United States at older ages and administrators must choose a grade in which to place these new entrants as soon as they register for school.

This study estimates the effect of grade placement on the short-term academic performance of ELLs who enroll in the Miami-Dade County Public School system between the ages of 7 and 12 using a district policy that determines grade placement decisions for newcomers by their birthdate relative to September 1.

The results suggest some benefits to being placed in the lower of the two grades for students’ achievement in mathematics, but no signs of benefits on other academic outcomes, including reading achievement, grade promotion, and exit from ELL status.

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