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Resource for Self-Determination or Perpetuation of Linguistic Imposition: Examining the Impact of English Learner Classification among Alaska Native Students

Federal law defines eligibility for English learner (EL) classification differently for Indigenous students compared to non-Indigenous students. Indigenous students, unlike non-Indigenous students, are not required to have a non-English home or primary language. A critical question, therefore, is how EL classification impacts Indigenous students’ educational outcomes. This study explores this question for Alaska Native students, drawing on data from five Alaska school districts. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find evidence that among students who score near the EL classification threshold in kindergarten, EL classification has a large negative impact on Alaska Native students’ academic outcomes, especially in the 3rd and 4th grades. Negative impacts are not found for non-Alaska Native students in the same districts.

Keywords
Alaska Native students; English learner classification; Regression discontinuity
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/mym3-1t98

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Umansky, Ilana, Manuel Vazquez Cano, and Lorna Porter. (). Resource for Self-Determination or Perpetuation of Linguistic Imposition: Examining the Impact of English Learner Classification among Alaska Native Students. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-420). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/mym3-1t98

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