Contractor: Instructional Research Group, Abt Associates
National assessments and international comparisons highlight the need for improvements in student achievement in the STEM areas. For English language learners (ELLs), academic performance in the STEM areas is often hampered by students’ lack of proficiency in English. Curricula and instructional strategies that are designed for native English speakers may not be effective in teaching content to ELLs. Furthermore, STEM teachers—including those who are highly effective in educating native English speakers—may not be equipped with the pedagogical knowledge necessary to tailor instruction to meet the needs of ELLs. The current work is an effort to examine the feasibility of conducting a national random assignment evaluation in the area of STEM instruction for ELLs. The intervention may be a professional development and/or curricula program in math or science. If feasible, the contractor will provide ED with design options for a possible future impact study.
The design work will address the following key research questions:
Cost/Duration: $412,814 over 10 months (September 2011 – June 2012)
Current Status: The contract was awarded in September 2011. Possible interventions for an impact study are being investigated.