Structured English Immersion Models’ Impact Unknown

Because the SEI model programs are relatively new and not fully implemented at many districts, data must be gathered over a longer period of time to identify the impact of those programs on ELL students.
Proficiency rate increased—In fiscal year 2008, when the SEI models were introduced, 22 percent of ELL students were reclassified as proficient. In fiscal years 2009 and 2010, reclassification rates increased to 31 percent state-wide. However, the progress level of students who did not become proficient remained about the same.

Status of ELL Students Who Did Not Reach Proficiency
Fiscal Years 2008 through 2010

Fiscal Year Unknown¹ Regressed Maintained Progressed
2008 28% 2% 39% 31%
2009 20% 3% 50% 27%
2010 22% 6% 43% 29%

1 Includes students who did not take a second test, such as students who withdrew from the program and those who were not in school on the assessment date.

Several factors, other than SEI models, may be responsible for increased proficiency:
• Increased emphasis on English language development and increased program monitoring

• Greater percentages of students starting at the intermediate proficiency level in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 than in fiscal year 2008
Because data is either unavailable or unreliable, the effect of SEI models is unknown—Reliable and consistent information on program implementation and program outcomes is needed to assess the SEI models’ effectiveness. However, we identified inaccurate rosters of ELL students and inaccurate reporting of program types used by districts. Further, data on the quality and quantity of instruction is not available. For example, ELL students are supposed to receive 4 hours of English language development instruction, but there is no state-wide data on whether they actually receive those required hours. In addition, information on program outcomes in the model programs’ initial years is not consistent and is potentially unreliable. Specifically, the Arizona Instrument for Measuring Success (AIMS) changed during these years, and adequacy of the State’s English proficiency test is under federal review.
Recommendation—ADE should work with districts to improve reliability of program participation data and collect additional data on program participation and student outcomes.

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