Prior work finds that newcomer adolescent English learners (ELs) struggle more academically and need more supports than English learners who arrived at younger ages. Cherng and colleagues will partner with the Internationals Network for Public Schools—a system of New York City public high schools that serve only recently-arrived students with low levels of English language proficiency and graduate them at high rates—and the Research Alliance for New York City Schools to uncover promising strategies for addressing the academic and socio-emotional needs of recently arrived adolescent English learners. This study will advance prior work on International Network schools and offer valuable lessons both to them and other schools serving immigrant youth. The team will use a three stage, mixed-methods design. First, the team will draw on Research Alliance administrative data to analyze the influence of attending a New York City International Network school on students’ grade point average, standardized test scores, credits earned, attendance, special education classification, and high-school graduation. These outcomes will be compared with those of demographically similar students at other NYC public schools, using propensity score matching methods. Second, the team will conduct two-year case studies of two International Network schools that have the highest outcomes and two high schools serving similar students. The focus will be instructional practices, school culture, and professional practices. Third, the team will draw on large-scale quantitative data to analyze links between the promising practices identified in the case studies and foreign-born high school students’ academic outcomes.
How can high schools better serve newly arrived immigrant students?