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Jerome Lyle Rappaport

Jerome Lyle Rappaport
Founder and Board Member
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Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser
Professor of Economics at Harvard University
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Stephen P. Johnson

Stephen P. Johnson
Executive Director of Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation
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Greg Massing

Greg Massing
Executive Director for the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service
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Alasdair Roberts

Alasdair Roberts
Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School
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Joseph Curtatone

Joseph Curtatone
Mayor, City of Somerville
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Tim H. Davis

Tim H. Davis
Independent Research Consultant
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Scott Harshbarger

Scott Harshbarger
Senior Counsel, Proskauer Rose LLP
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Vivien Li

Vivien Li
Executive Director of The Boston Harbor Association
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Guest contributors

Monika Bandyopadhyay
Suffolk University Law Student

David Barron
Harvard Law School and former Deputy Counsel for the Office of Legal Counsel in the US Department of Justice

Linda Bilmes
Senior lecturer in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Assistant Secretary of Commerce during the Clinton Administration.

Brandy H.M. Brooks
Director, Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, Bruner Foundation

Felicia Cote
Rappaport Fellow, Harvard Law School/Harvard Kennedy School.

Amanda Eden
Suffolk University Law School student

Sara Farnum
Student, Suffolk Univ. Law School

Kristin Faucette
Student at Suffolk University Law School

Benjamin Forman
Research Director, MassINC

Arthur Hardy-Doubleday
JD/MBA student at Suffolk University Law School and the Sawyer School of Business

Theodore Kalivas
Boston Green Blog, Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy

David Linhart
Student, Boston University School of Law

Antoniya Owens
Research Analyst, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Susan Prosnitz
Senior Advisor, TSA, Washington, DC

Ben Thomas
Boston Green Blog, Dukakis Center for Urban & Regional Policy

Matthew Todaro
Student at Boston College Law School

Alexander von Hoffman
Senior Researcher, Joint Center for Housing Studies

Brett Walker
Student, Boston College Law School

Margarita Warren
Student at Suffolk University Law School

In the Aftermath of Question 2: Students with Limited English Proficiency in Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
By Antoniya Owens

 

By Antoniya Owens
Rappaport Public Policy Fellow
Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants 

In November 2002, Massachusetts voters approved Question 2, a ballot initiative to replace transitional bilingual education (TBE) with sheltered English immersion (SEI)—an instructional model that teaches students with limited English proficiency all academic content in English. The mandate became fully effective in the fall of academic year 2003-04. Although its implementation has varied somewhat across the state, the majority of limited English-proficient students (LEP) in Massachusetts are now enrolled in SEI programs. Still, to date there has been no comprehensive statewide assessment of the effects of this policy change on students’ engagement outcomes and academic performance.

This report seeks to fill a part of this knowledge gap. Its primary research objective is to identify how many students in the state are assessed as LEP and are thus subject to such policy changes, who they are, and how they have fared at school relative to their English-proficient classmates. To the extent that data availability allows, the report also seeks to evaluate how Question 2 has influenced LEP students’ school engagement and academic
Key Findings
Enrollment and Program Placement

Over the past decade, the enrollment of both non-native English speakers and LEP students has grown substantially. During academic year 2009, more than 147,000 students in Massachusetts spoke English as a second language—up by 20 percent from a decade earlier. Of these, 57,000 lacked English proficiency—over a quarter more than in 1999.

The number of English-proficient students has remained steady, and as a result, the relative importance of non-native English speakers and of LEP students has also increased. The share of enrollment comprised by non-native speakers grew from 12.8 percent in 1999 to
15.4 percent a decade later. Over the same period, the percentage of students with limited English proficiency rose from 4.7 percent to
5.9 percent 

For the full text of this article click here.



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