English learners (ELs) are the fastest growing U.S. school population and constitute 20.4 percent of the total enrollment of California schools (California Language Census, 2017). However, schools are struggling to provide programs and practices that are effective for ELs.
ERC recently concluded a longitudinal study on the impact of California League of Schools’ innovative Families for College (FFC) Program on the language acquisition of ELs in the Moreno Valley Unified School District. The program provided a unique combination of professional development for EL teachers, English 3D curriculum, family engagement strategies, and other academic and social supports for students. Over five years, the program served a cohort of 325 English learners and their families from the beginning of 6th grade at six middle schools through the fall of their 10th grade year at four high schools. This work was supported by an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The FFC Program resulted in significantly improved English-language arts (ELA) performance on standardized tests for students classified as ELs. More importantly, 78% of cohort students who began the program in the fall of 6th grade (2013) as ELs were reclassified as Fluent English Proficient by the fall of 9th grade (2016).