A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

School Reform and Student Diversity - September 1995

Table 16

Case Study Research Area #5:
Impact of the Reform at the Middle Grades

Student Achievement and Learning Outcomes The large number of recent immigrants poses a challenge to measuring outcomes. Student mobility and transience pose a challenge to measuring outcomes. Students at Horace Mann scored second highest in the district on writing in last year's statewide assessment (CLAS). As a school, they are not performing well on TAAS. Teachers report that students who exit the LAMP program are among their best students.

Challenge: Transiency is a major problem; "we are never able to improve our scores or allow programs to be effective because the students move on, it's such a port of entry."

LEP Student Redesignations "Transition to English is accomplished over a four-to-six year period." The district initiated a systematic review of LEP children in the 1992-93 school year to determine if some students could be reclassified Fluent English Proficient; over 500 FEP students were identified. The following year, the district redesignated 200 or so students. In the first "sweep," Hanshaw had 43 students redesignated as fluent; in the second year 30 students were redesignated.
50% of the students who enter at kinder exit by 5th grade. 25% who enter may never exit.

Challenge: The situation was described to us as particularly challenging because "it is so easy to live in El Paso and speak only Spanish." Some of the kids spend their weekends in Juarez. I don't have data or estimates on late arrivals.

Strengths Support for English language development

Bilingual staff and openness to families

Partnership with TERC

District support for bilingual programs

Attention to Community Alienation and School Climate

Attention to Language Development

Learning Community

Organization of students: untracked classes, family structure, cooperative learning

Meaningful curriculum: the curriculum is rich and is made relevant to the students' realities and experiences.

Entrepreneurial staff with shared vision.

"Wiggs staff have been pioneers of the middle school concept in the EL Paso area."

Family structure

Strong content-based ESL instruction

Weaknesses Some isolation of the program. Inadequate support for Southeast Asian LEP students. Inconsistent leadershiptaking toll on teachers Need to increase parent involvement and expand integrated services

[Table 15 Case Study Research Question #4: Sources of Financial Support for the Reform at the Middle Grades] [Table of Contents] [Glossary]