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A Consensus Study Report of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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he report is a state-ofthe-art review of the STEM field regarding English Learners’ education by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine,” says Alison Bailey, co-author of the report and professor of education at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. “There is almost no research on the technology and engineering piece of that; it’s nearly all science and math. The report argues that many English learners are simply not getting access to the pipeline for STEM subjects, especially at the high school level when things become more specialized.” Bailey, whose research centers on the assessment and experiences of English learners (ELs) in PreK–12, contributed to several introductory chapters and served as lead on the classroom assessment portions of the report. Among the NASEM report’s findings is the fact that decisions concerning EL’s STEM achievement can be made more accurate when they are based on multiple sources of information and when test scores are combined with other, qualitative forms of assessment best suited to ELs’ STEM learning. Studies that the report reviewed found that static and dynamic visual aids, collaborative tasks, and dividing tasks into multiple parts yielded fairer and more valid interpretations of EL student performance in STEM disciplines.

“Since 2001, with the passage of No Child Left Behind, the purpose of acquiring English was brought closer to the academic subjects and why schools should care,” says Bailey. “This nexus of language and content areas popularized the use of the term ‘academic language’ … and needing alignment between what was going on in English language development and what was going on in actual classrooms, whether it was math or science, English language arts or social studies.” Professor Bailey notes that the report can be instrumental in helping teachers, administrators and others to propel EL students onto a STEM-ready trajectory for college and employment, a path that has until now been extremely limited if not downright prohibitive. “The whole EL experience often excluded students from [STEM] classrooms because they were pulled out [of class] for English language development during math and science,” she says. “And then there were students who were not necessarily getting access to high-­ quality, well-taught elective classes.”

Studies that the report reviewed found that static and dynamic visual aids, collaborative tasks, and dividing tasks into multiple parts yielded fairer and more valid interpretations of EL student performance in STEM disciplines.

UCLA Ed&IS SPRING 2019 5

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UCLA Ed&IS Magazine Spring 2019  

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ magazine highlights the public scholarship of our faculty. The cover of this...

UCLA Ed&IS Magazine Spring 2019  

The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ magazine highlights the public scholarship of our faculty. The cover of this...

Profile for uclaedis
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