Exploring quality programs for English language learners in charter schools: A framework to guide future research

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Abstract

Although there has been a great deal of debate about the effectiveness of charter schools in the research literature, there has been surprisingly little attention paid to English language learners (ELLs) in charter schools. Moreover, the charter school research has predominantly focused on whether or not charter schools are effective rather than how or why high-performing charter schools work, particularly for ELLs. We contend that researchers must expand their focus beyond access and achievement and begin to grapple with questions related to the quality of programs for ELLs in charter schools. To meet an emerging need in the field, we synthesize several strands of existing research—related to charter schools, school improvement, and ELLs in traditional public schools—to propose a five-component framework that describes essential elements of quality programs for ELLs in charter schools. We conclude with a discussion of implications of our framework for research, policy, and practice. 

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How to Cite
Garcia, P., & Morales, P. Z. (2016). Exploring quality programs for English language learners in charter schools: A framework to guide future research. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24, 53. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.24.1739
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Author Biographies

Peggie Garcia, University of Illinois at Chicago

Peggie Garcia, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Office of Research on Student Success at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Prior to beginning her doctoral studies at UIC, she taught in Chicago Public Schools, served in the Peace Corps, co-coordinated implementation of the Secretary’s High School Initiative at the U.S. Department of Education, and led the technical assistance portfolio for the National Charter School Resource Center as a senior consultant at the American Institutes for Research.

P. Zitlali Morales, University of Illinois at Chicago

P. Zitlali Morales, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education, and affiliated faculty of the Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She examines the language practices of Latin@ youth and linguistic interactions of students and teachers in bilingual classrooms. Dr. Morales is co-PI of a National Science Foundation funded project studying the digital literacy practices and transnational ties of immigrant youth.