From one of the RELs…
What do enrollment rates in advanced courses tell us about disparities among English learner groups?
Uncovering and Addressing Gaps in Advanced Course Enrollment for English Learner Students
By Havala Hanson
Emerging research shows that successfully completing advanced high school courses (such as dual-enrollment and Advanced Placement classes) is an important predictor of positive postsecondary education outcomes, including college enrollment and persistence. A new REL Northwest study examined enrollment in advanced courses among students from different language groups in Washington state between 2009–10 and 2012–13.
The study found disparities in advanced course enrollment among students from different language groups. Notably, Spanish-speaking students (the largest language-minority group in Washington) tend to take fewer advanced courses—and earn lower grades in them—than students who speak other languages, including English-only speakers.
However, when students with the same GPA and state standardized test scores in math and reading were compared, the study found that Spanish-speaking students take about as many advanced courses as their English-only classmates.
Beyond GPA and standardized test scores, other factors impede language-minority students’ enrollment in advanced courses . . . .
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