Research and Policy Considerations for English Learner Equity

Joseph P. Robinson-Cimpian, Karen D. Thompson, Ilana M. Umansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


English learners (ELs), students from a home where a language other than English is spoken and who are in the process of developing English proficiency themselves, represent more than 10% of the U.S. student population. Oftentimes, education policies and practices create barriers for ELs to achieve access and outcomes that are equitable to those of their non-EL peers. Recent education research—often using experimental and quasi-experimental designs—provides new insights on how to evaluate EL policies, as well as how best to alter current policies to yield more equitable outcomes for ELs. Topics discussed include (a) EL classification and services, (b) language of instruction, (c) access to core content, and (d) assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalPolicy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • English learners
  • access
  • accommodations
  • accountability
  • assessments
  • bilingual education
  • equity
  • policy
  • reclassification
  • tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Administration


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