Associate Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education, Vanderbilt University
Stella M. Flores, Vanderbilt University
Toby J Park, Florida State University
Using a quasi-experimental matching technique, we examine the college-access trajectories of a cohort of English language learners (ELLs) in Texas beginning when they were in first grade. We compare ELLs with non-ELL peers, and with students whose parents allowed them to waive participation in a language program. We find that ELL identification has no significant relationship with the outcomes of AP/IB course taking and postsecondary enrollment and a negative relationship with high school graduation. However, ELLs who participated in a program for one to three years had more positive outcomes in all three outcomes than similar non-ELLs. Finally, waiver ELL students performed significantly poorly on AP/IB and high school graduation outcomes than similar peers that engaged in ELL programming for three years.