The current 5.4 million English Learners (ELs) make up the lowest performing academic group in the United States (US) today. A number of weaknesses and struggles in the field of EL education have been simmering below the surface for years, and while previously treated as an unspoken dysfunction in our education system, the inequitable treatment of ELs can no longer be ignored. There is an urgent need to ensure equitable, inclusive, high-quality educational opportunities and outcomes for ELs, including preparation for college and career readiness. This study relies on two established legal policy research methodologies, specifically the four-step method of analysis and the quantitative method of “simple-box scoring,” to systematically analyze case law outcomes and identify seven litigation trends from cases over the past 40 years. This research can provide alternative proactive remedies other than costly litigation and demonstrates the need for a more effective coordination of mechanisms to unite institutions that service ELs. This study bridges the gap of critical knowledge needed to help educators, attorneys, and professors who prepare school leaders and teachers to meet legal requirements for ELs, each of whom are entitled by law to access mainstream curriculum. Further limitations and implications are presented.
Racines, D.E. (2015), "A Litigation Trend Analysis of Case Law Outcomes Pertaining to the Educational Rights of English Learners: A Civil Rights Issue", Legal Frontiers in Education: Complex Law Issues for Leaders, Policymakers and Policy Implementers (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 99-118. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-366020150000024032
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