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Theses Doctoral

The Intersection of Language and School Finance Policy: a Quantitative Study of New York City Department of Education School Principals’ Perspectives of Educational Opportunities for Emergent Bilingual Students

García, Brenda Amparo

My dissertation is a quantitative study that focuses on the perspectives of 74 New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) school principals regarding educational opportunities for emergent bilingual (EB) students. While this population continues to increase, EB students consistently demonstrate lower academic achievement than their monolingual peers throughout the United States (Heineke, 2015; NAEP, 2017a; NAEP, 2017b). I purposefully selected the NYC DOE for my study for three reasons: 1) New York State’s language policy embraces bilingual education; 2) the NYC DOE has implemented a differentiated weighted funding formula for EB students; and 3) the EB student composition mirrors that of other United States’ cities. My study utilized New York State’s Blueprint for English Language Learner/Multilingual Learner (ELL/MLL) Success to design a survey to collect data from my target population of 1,136 NYC DOE school principals since it aligned with the literature on providing an effective education for EB students.

I found: 1) NYC DOE school principals highly agree that the elements put forth in NYSED’s Blueprint for ELL/MLL Success are present in their schools; 2) funding and professional development are challenges, as well as recommended structures and supports; differences in schools principals’ responses by: 3) program type in which they serve EB students; 4) percentage of EB students; and 5) number of EB students. The Likert-scale responses demonstrated a high level of agreement with the statements associated with effective education for EB students, while the data collected from the open-ended responses provided more insight into the challenges that respondents experience. Notwithstanding, I concluded that these school principals' perspectives varied based on school factors. My findings have implications for policy and practice for school districts serving EB students throughout the nation and may serve as a pathway to improving educational opportunities for EB students. I recommend regular cost studies for funding for EB students; monitoring of those funds; a systemic approach to professional development specific to EB students; and a system for data collection from school principals to inform professional development and systems of support and ensure they are meeting their identified needs.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Organization and Leadership
Thesis Advisors
Drago-Severson, Eleanor
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
February 22, 2021