Theses Doctoral

An Examination of Special Education Instructional Programs for English Learners in New York City Schools

Mathieu, Lorna

English Learners (ELs) represent one of the fastest-growing groups among the school-age population in the United States. However, there have been significant achievement gaps between ELs and native English-speaking students in all grades and content areas. The gap only widens when EL students with a disability are considered. This study built on the existing literature by examining longitudinal data that tracked the academic achievement outcomes of ELs classified with an educational disability who attended three special education instructional programs rather than linguistic instructional programs, and evaluating whether these programs were differentially effective for students of different ethnic backgrounds and type of disability. The programs included General Education (GE), Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) or Collaborative Team Teaching (TT), and Special Education classes (SE).
Using existing data from the New York City Department of Education, the analytic sample for this study looked at one cohort consisting of approximately 2,297 ELs who entered third grade during the 2006-2007 school year and followed them through the 2015-2016 school year when students were expected to be in the twelfth grade. Academic achievement in ELA and math were measured by the Grade 3-8 New York State ELA and math standardized exam scores. Achievement was also measured by graduation status as well as type of diploma earned upon projected year of high school completion.
A three-level linear mixed model (LMM), logistic regression modeling, and cross-tabulations were used to analyze the dataset. Overall, the results from the present study supported findings from previous studies indicating that students who have the opportunity to engage with typically developing peers display better long-term academic achievement outcomes. Nonetheless, consistent with prior research, increased gaps between ELs and non-ELs as well as Disabled students and their Non-Disabled peers were noted.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Interdisciplinary Studies in Education
Thesis Advisors
DeCarlo, Lawrence
Peverly, Stephen T.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
March 7, 2019