1 Nationa Center on Response to Intervention Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners M. Movit, I. Petrykowska, and D. Woodruff May 2010 Leadership teams shoud meet reguary and incude diverse representation across areas of professiona expertise and cutura experience. Athough most schoos aready have some form of a student support or probem-soving team in pace, these teams are not aways fuy prepared professionay and/or cuturay to address the needs of specific popuations of students. Introduction To ensure that the impementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies effectivey addresses the needs of a students, the Nationa Center on Response to Intervention (NCRTI) recommends that schoos and districts estabish eadership teams that focus on issues affecting cuturay and inguisticay diverse students. New eadership teams can be added to what aready exists, or current eadership teams can be refocused on these issues. Leadership teams shoud meet reguary and incude diverse representation across areas of professiona expertise (e.g., genera education, biingua education, and specia education) and cutura experience (e.g., parents, community members, and others with rich reationships and knowedge of student backgrounds). Athough most schoos aready have some form of student support or probem-soving teams in pace, these teams are not aways fuy prepared professionay and/or cuturay to address the needs of specific popuations of students. The Importance of Focusing the Schoo Leadership Team on Engish Language Learners A eadership team that is prepared to effectivey address the needs of Engish anguage earners (ELLs) is an important ingredient in a successfu RTI framework because, athough many ELLs currenty participate in biingua education or Engish as a second anguage (ESL) programs, achievement outcomes for ELLs as a group are disma. On the 2007 Nationa Assessment of Educationa Progress (NAEP), the average reading score for fourth-grade ELLs was 188 points out of a possibe 500 (compared with 224 for non-ell fourth graders). This 36-point discrepancy in achievement is arger than the 26-point gap in reading achievement between Hispanic students and white students, the 28-point gap between African American students and White students, the 27-point gap between students from ow-income famiies and students from high-income famiies, and the 33-point gap between disabed students and nondisabed students (Lee, Grigg, & Donahue, 2007). Nationa Center on Response to Intervention
2 Factors Contributing to the Probem Severa factors contribute to the poor educationa outcomes of ELLs: Ineffective or poory trained teachers. ELLs are more ikey than other groups to be taught by a teacher who acks appropriate teaching credentias (Gándara, Maxwe- Joy, & Rumberger, 2008). Fifty-six percent of pubic schoo teachers in the United States have at east one ELL in their cass, but ess than 20% of these teachers are certified to teach ELLs (Brown & Dooitte, 2008; Waxman, Teez, & Waberg, 2004). Lack of access to appropriate instructiona and assessment materias. Most states use curricua and assessments that are deveoped specificay for Engish speakers and make no accommodation for ELLs who, by definition, are not proficient in Engish. Therefore, instructiona and assessment materias may not be vaid or reiabe as indicators of what ELLs know and can do academicay (Gándara et a., 2008). Faiure by schoos to incorporate students anguage and cuture into instruction. Recent reviews of research on anguage instruction indicate that (a) teaching students to read in their first anguage promotes higher eves of reading achievement in Engish and (b) using reading passages with themes from students cutures improves comprehension (Godenberg, 2008). Nevertheess, approximatey 60% of ELLs are in essentiay a-engish instructiona settings with itte differentiation for anguage proficiency and cutura backgrounds (Zeher, Hopstock, & Feischman, 2003). A Growing Need Nationay, ELL students come from more than 400 anguage backgrounds (Godenberg, 2008), Eighty percent of ELLs are Spanish speakers, and the dropout rate for Hispanic students is 21% compared with 8.7% for a students nationay (Nationa Center on Educationa Statistics, 2007). With more than 5 miion ELL students in the United States, up from 2 miion in 1990 (Nationa Center on Educationa Statistics, 2004), the chaenge of providing effective instruction to these students can no onger be ignored. How Can a Schoo Leadership Team Meet the Needs of ELLs? To ensure the deveopment and maintenance of an effective schoo environment for ELLs, the eadership team shoud review the quaity of the earning environment for the schoo as a whoe and within individua cassrooms. The goa of this review process is to ensure that teaching and earning activities are we structured and cuturay and inguisticay engaging and aow students to be active (rather than passive) Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 2
3 participants in their acquisition of the Engish anguage and academic content (Gay, 2000). In addition, reative to RTI, the eadership team shoud review screening and progress monitoring data for ELLs, aong with any resuting instructiona modifications, to ensure that the instructiona supports used across the RTI tiers are cuturay and inguisticay appropriate and are eading to improved student outcomes (NCRTI, 2010). Ortiz and coeagues (2009) recommend that schoos conduct the foowing practices: Accommodate instruction to best refect the communication styes of students Incorporate and vaue the use of diverse community practices in the curricuum Adapt instruction to accommodate the accuturation needs of students Deveop inguistic competence through functiona and purposefu diaogue in the cassroom Connect students prior experiences with current skis being taught (i.e., experientia background) Contextuaize earning by refecting and pacing vaue on students native cutura vaues, norms, and anguages when impementing the curricuum Who Shoud Be on the Schoo Leadership Team? Suggested Members of an ELL Leadership Team: Schoo principas Biingua education and ESL teachers Genera education teachers Ski and content speciaists Specia education teachers Parents Within the eadership team, a diverse representation of members is important. Team members shoud acknowedge and utiize differences in expertise so that everyone can contribute toward the deveopment of a cuturay responsive earning environment. Team members shoud aso operate on the premise of mutua accountabiity for achieving goas that have been estabished for student performance (Richards, Arties, Kinger, & Brown, 2005). An effective eadership team incudes severa individuas who have an impact on the ways that ELLs earn and represents a coective effort across schoo stakehoders. Schoo principas are responsibe for engaging schoo personne, parents, and the community in adopting a common phiosophy and approach to cuturay and inguisticay responsive instruction. Principas ensure the proper impementation of RTI and support teachers and personne for the program s success. Biingua education and ESL teachers can support the use of native anguages in teaching the schoo curricuum and provide rigorous, systematic Engish anguage deveopment (ELD) programs so students can improve their Engish proficiency. Biingua education and ESL teachers aso hep genera and specia education teachers successfuy integrate ELLs into their cassrooms and adapt instruction. Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 3
4 Genera education teachers integrate ELLs into their cassrooms. They support the deveopment of students Engish anguage and iteracy skis. Genera education teachers aso have a primary responsibiity to meet the anguage needs of students who: Do not receive biingua education/esl services because they are not considered ELLs but may require some anguage support. This incudes students who speak ony Engish, athough Engish is not the native anguage of their parents and as a resut the students have imited opportunities to hear and use standard Engish before schoo. Do not quaify for ESL programs but do not have native-ike Engish skis. Ski and content speciaists support the deveopment of ELLs Engish conversationa and academic anguage skis. They aso teach and support Engish iteracy and content area instruction. Ski and content speciaists support genera education teachers as they differentiate instruction to meet the needs of students. They aso provide more intensive interventions for ELLs who are strugging academicay. Specia education teachers can ideay provide instruction that addresses both anguage- and disabiity-reated needs for ELL students who are found eigibe for specia education. They support: Native anguage deveopment Engish as a second anguage acquisition Native and/or Engish iteracy deveopment Content area instruction Specia education teachers aso consut with biingua education, ESL, and genera education teachers so that the disabiity-reated needs of students are addressed in every setting (Ortiz et a., 2009). Parents provide experiences upon which to buid anguage acquisition and ensure that instruction is cuturay responsive. To support their chidren s acquisition of anguage and iteracy, parents shoud tak to their chidren in both their native anguage and Engish when possibe, read with their chidren, and assist with homework. Why Is Parent Participation on the Schoo Leadership Team Important? As both standing members and active participants on an as-needed-basis, parents can contribute to the eadership team in ways that no other team member can. Using the Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 4
5 knowedge they have about their chidren and cuture, parents can provide the foowing types of information: Strengths and earning needs of their chidren Heath, deveopmenta miestones, and educationa history of their chidren The famiy s use of anguage and/or cutura background Strategies (both successfu and not) that have been used at home to hep their chidren earn Parents can aso assist with the deveopment of new earning strategies and interventions and reinforce instruction at home. Furthermore, parents have access to students beyond the hours of the schoo day. In this extra time, parents can hep to bridge the gap between schoo and home by providing experiences upon which to buid anguage acquisition. Parents can aso support anguage and iteracy acquisition through such activities as taking and reading to their chidren, istening to their chidren read, and heping their chidren with homework (Ortiz et a., 2009). (For more information about the invovement of parents in education, pease see Getting Invoved on the Nationa Parent Teacher Association Web site: How Can the Schoo Leadership Team Be Cuturay and Linguisticay Responsive? Athough the majority of ELLs are Spanish-speakers (Godenburg, 2008), the broad diversity of cutura and inguistic backgrounds represented across this popuation makes it crucia for teachers and administrators, with the support of the eadership team, to impement cuturay and inguisticay responsive practices throughout the schoo, for exampe: Connect with students by understanding their sociocutura environment Engage students strategicay in ongoing instructiona conversation to support their interchanges and expression of ideas Provide students with cognitivey chaenging curricua (i.e., emphasizing higher order thinking and scaffoding as appropriate) To support teachers in their efforts to utiize cuturay and inguisticay responsive practices, administrators shoud provide and encourage teachers to take advantage of professiona deveopment opportunities that wi hep them to deveop strategies to meet the needs of a students. Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 5
6 What Does Success Look Like for the Schoo Leadership Team? As the team moves forward, it is aso important to determine how we the team is doing on three eves (Kovaeski, 2002): 1. Individua student outcomes, incuding overa student achievement and the resuts of specific interventions 2. Schoowide indicators of effectiveness, incuding impact on teacher practices, invovement of parents and famiies, and impact on specia education pacements 3. Stakehoder satisfaction with the team, incuding that of teachers, parents, and students Whie the assessment of team success depends greaty on the individua characteristics of the schoo and team, Bicke and coeagues (1999) share severa factors that can hep to contribute to the success of any eadership team: Obtain the support and invovement of administrators at the schoo and district eves Use a variety of student assessments (e.g., portfoios, mutipe choice tests, presentations, etc.) to measure student progress Use progress monitoring data to inform instructiona interventions Buid a cuturay and inguisticay diverse eadership team Ensure highy skied instructiona support (e.g., quaified biingua education teachers) Maintain ongoing coaboration between genera, biingua, and specia education teachers Impement a probem-soving process that is buit on trust and shared responsibiity Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 6
7 How Can the Schoo Leadership Team Be Supported to Ensure Success? A schoo s eadership team is not aone in its efforts. With mutipe eves of support (Exhibit 1), each of which is cuturay and inguisticay responsive, the eadership team can be very successfu. Exhibit 1. Mutieve Student Support System SEA Leadership Team LEA Leadership Team Buiding Leadership Team Buiding Staff Students Leve Who Is Supported? How Is Support Provided? State education agency (SEA) eadership team Loca education agency (LEA) eadership team Buiding eadership team LEA eadership teams across the state Mutipe schoos in a oca or intermediate district A buiding staff Provides guidance, visibiity, funding, and poitica support Provides coaching for LEA teams and technica assistance for buiding teams Provides guidance, visibiity, funding, and poitica support Provides guidance and manages impementation Buiding staff A students Provides effective practices to support students Source: Adapted from Michigan Department of Education, n.d. Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 7
8 Tips for a Successfu Schoo Leadership Team for ELLs Use what you know about the anguage proficiency of students to deveop an intervention and carefuy consider the anguage of instruction Consider student characteristics or environmenta factors that may have caused other interventions to succeed or fai Base recommendations on individua students; do not generaize why students strugge as a whoe Conduct foowup meetings to discuss students who are referred to the eadership team and hod the meetings for as ong as it takes to resove the probem Ensure that a facuty and staff understand an intervention, how it differs from core instruction, and how to evauate it If the majority of team members are biingua in a parent s native anguage, conduct the meeting in that anguage; provide Engish interpretations for those who speak ony Engish (Ortiz et a., 2009) If the majority of team members are not biingua, aways provide a trained interpreter for parents Concusions By focusing on the academic, anguage, and cutura needs of ELL students, a schoo eadership team can be a driving force toward creating a schoowide environment that supports effective teaching and successfu student outcomes. A professionay and cuturay diverse eadership team that is committed to this goa can use its coective skis and experience to ensure that (a) parents and students fee empowered and supported toward achieving at a high eve and (b) teachers have the proper training, instructiona materias, and support for providing engaging and appropriate instruction for ELLs. NCRTI encourages schoos to use the information provided in this brief as part of an RTI framework that uses student screening, progress monitoring, and cuturay and inguisticay appropriate interventions to meet the needs of ELLs. NCRTI aso encourages schoos to keep the Center informed about successes and essons earned when using an RTI framework to support improved outcomes for a students. Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 8
9 References Bicke, W., Zigmond, N., McCa, R., & McNeis, R. (1999). Instructiona support team best practices in Pennsyvania: Fina Report. Pittsburgh, PA: Pennsyvania Bureau of Specia Education and the University of Pittsburgh. Brown, J. E., & Dooitte, J. (2008). A cutura, inguistic and ecoogica framework for response to intervention with Engish anguage earners. Tempe, AZ: Nationa Center for Cuturay Responsive Education Systems. Gándara, P., Maxwe-Joy, J., & Rumberger, R. (2008). Resource needs for Engish anguage earners: Getting down to poicy recommendations. Santa Barbara, CA: University of Caifornia, Linguistic Minority Research Institute, Education Poicy Center. Gay, G. (2000). Cuturay responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers Coege Press. Godenberg, C. (2008). Teaching Engish anguage earners: What the research does and does not say. American Educator, 32(2), 8 23, Kovaeski, J. F. (2002). Best practices in operating pre-referra intervention teams. In J. G. A. Thomas (Ed.), Best practices in schoo psychoogy IV (pp ). Washington, DC: Nationa Association of Schoo Psychoogists. Lee, J., Grigg, W., & Donahue, P. (2007). The nation s report card: Reading 2007 (NCES ). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Nationa Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved March 11, 2010, from Michigan Department of Education. (n.d.). Description: Continuum of support (chart). Retrieved March 12, 2010, from DescriptionContinuumofSupport.aspx Nationa Center on Educationa Statistics. (2004). Engish anguage earner students in U.S. pubic schoos: 1994 and Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Nationa Center on Educationa Statistics. (2007). High schoo dropout and competion rates in the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Nationa Center on Response to Intervention. (2010) Essentia components of RTI A coser ook at response to intervention. Washington, DC: Author. Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 9
10 Ortiz, A., Robertson, P., & Wikinson, C. (2009). Leadership for BESt ERA mode impementation. Research presented at the BESt ERA Conference, Austin, TX. Richards, H. V., Arties, A. J., Kingner, J., & Brown, A. (2005, November). Equity in specia education pacement: A schoo sef-assessment guide for cuturay responsive practice, Form A (administrators). Tempe, AZ: Nationa Center for Cuturay Responsive Educationa Systems. Retrieved Apri 21, 2007, from org/professiona/toos.attachment/assessment_too_forma/assessment_tool_ forma.pdf Waxman, H., Teez, K., & Waberg, H. J. (2004). Improving teacher quaity for Engish anguage earners: Reports and next-step recommendations from a nationa invitationa conference. The LSS Review, 3(1), 1 3. Zeher, A. M., Hopstock, P. J., & Feischman, H. (2003). The descriptive study of services to LEP students and LEP students with disabiities. Research presented at the 2003 Office of Engish Language Acquisition Summit, Washington, DC. Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 10
11 About the Nationa Center on Response to Intervention Through funding from the U.S. Department of Education s Office of Specia Education Programs, the American Institutes for Research and researchers from Vanderbit University and the University of Kansas have estabished the Nationa Center on Response to Intervention. The Center provides technica assistance to states and districts and buids the capacity of states to assist districts in impementing proven response to intervention frameworks. Nationa Center on Response to Intervention Nationa Center on Response to Intervention 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW Washington, DC Phone: Fax: Web: This document was produced under U.S. Department of Education, Office of Specia Education Programs Grant No. H326E to the American Institutes for Research. Grace Zamora Durán and Tina Diamond served as the OSEP project officers. The views expressed herein do not necessariy represent the positions or poices of the Department of Education. No officia endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any product, commodity, service or enterprise mentioned in this pubication is intended or shoud be inferred. This product is pubic domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whoe or in part is granted. Whie permission to reprint this pubication is not necessary, the citation shoud be: Nationa Center on Response to Intervention (May 2010). Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Specia Education Programs, Nationa Center on Response to Intervention. Information Brief: Using Schoo Leadership Teams to Meet the Needs of Engish Language Learners 11
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