School Reform and Student Diversity: Exemplary Schooling for Language Minority Students.
National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, Washington, DC.
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A four-year study sought to identify, describe, and analyze exemplary school reform efforts for limited English proficient (LEP) students in grades 4-8 in three curricular areas: language arts, science, and mathematics. Eight elementary and middle schools in four states were studied in depth to understand how they had undertaken school restructuring while simultaneously meeting the needs of LEP students. Shared characteristics of the exemplary schools were inclusion, enrichment, flexibility, coordination, and internal impetus. In various ways, all the schools strive to foster English acquisition and the development of mature literacy; deliver grade-level content; organize instruction in innovative ways; protect and extend instructional time; expand teachers' roles and responsibilities; use effective teaching strategies; address students' social and emotional needs; involve parents in their children's education; and use resources wisely. Although problems with the assessment of LEP students makes it difficult to formally evaluate the results of these reform efforts, the study concludes that restructuring can achieve exemplary schooling for LEP students. Profiles of the eight exemplary schools are presented in an appendix. (cas)