What new strands of research can inform efforts to reduce the academic inequalities faced by English Language Learners and immigrant-origin youth? Kenji Hakuta and his team will host a three-day meeting in February 2017, where leading researchers and practitioners will jointly construct a long-term research agenda on federal policy for English Language Learners (ELLs), with a focus on immigration and research-practice-policy collaborations. One purpose of the meeting is to build the next generation of scholarship on ELL policy by encouraging researchers to document and interpret policies and practices that result from the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA will introduce many changes affecting ELLs, and will generate state-to-state variation in implementation and outcomes. Studying changes during the implementation period will help derive and communicate policy conclusions relevant to the next reauthorization of ESEA. The proposed meeting will address five research areas with relevance for future legislation: accountability systems to produce continuous improvement; useful evidence for comprehensive and targeted assistance programs; ways the law can build on bilingualism and community assets; ways ESSA can support all teachers in learning how to support ELLs more effectively; and how immigration policies affect educational opportunities for ELLs. To engage in this discussion, Hakuta and his team will invite current ELL Policy Fellows and 16 experts working on these topic areas, including policy experts, a leading civil rights attorney, and a representative from the Council of Chief State Schools Officers, who will bring local and state perspectives into the deliberations. The meeting will lead to five short white papers about the topic areas, and a sixth paper on strategies for growing the field of ELL researchers studying policy and practice. This meeting supplements the meetings of the ELL Policy Fellows funded by the Spencer Foundation. Funds from our award will support travel and lodging expenses for fifteen participants. Additional support for this convening will be provided by an existing grant from the Spencer Foundation and by the Stanford Graduate School of Education.
What new strands of research can inform efforts to reduce the academic inequalities faced by English Language Learners and immigrant-origin youth?