Release time and english language proficiency: Does releasing students for spiritual instruction negatively affect test scores?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The population of students with limited English proficiency-a disproportionate number of whom are urban Latinos living in low-income neighborhoods-is increasing rapidly. School districts serving these populations must meet escalating academic benchmarks, as stipulated by No Child Left Behind, or incur sanctions. This pressure has led many districts to consider eliminating release time, a program that allows students to be excused from their regular academic schedules to receive spiritual instruction. The present study sought to determine whether English learners participating in release time record lower test scores than their nonparticipating peers. The results indicate that release time participants score at least as well as their peers on the state tests used to assess listening and speaking, reading, writing, and overall English proficiency. Potential reasons for these possibly counterintuitive results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Schools
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Fingerprint

English language
Language
Students
instruction
district
Benchmarking
student
Hispanic Americans
sanction
Population
speaking
Reading
Appointments and Schedules
low income
Pressure
school
time

Keywords

  • English language proficiency
  • No Child Left Behind
  • release time
  • spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education

Cite this

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abstract = "The population of students with limited English proficiency-a disproportionate number of whom are urban Latinos living in low-income neighborhoods-is increasing rapidly. School districts serving these populations must meet escalating academic benchmarks, as stipulated by No Child Left Behind, or incur sanctions. This pressure has led many districts to consider eliminating release time, a program that allows students to be excused from their regular academic schedules to receive spiritual instruction. The present study sought to determine whether English learners participating in release time record lower test scores than their nonparticipating peers. The results indicate that release time participants score at least as well as their peers on the state tests used to assess listening and speaking, reading, writing, and overall English proficiency. Potential reasons for these possibly counterintuitive results are discussed.",
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