Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

January 2004


Published in JOURNAL OF EDUCATION FOR STUDENTS PLACED AT RISK, 10(1), 53–83 Copyright © 2004, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Used by permission.


After verifying that the federally supported Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration (CSRD) program schools in the 7 states studied had a disproportionately high English Language Learner (ELL) population, we examined the understandings and guidance about ELLs that was included by those states’ state education agencies (SEAs) in the policy documents that they generated for CSRD. Specifically, we looked at the CSRD plans that SEAs submitted to the U.S. Department of Education and at the first requests for proposals they circulated to schools. In those documents, we found little recognition of the dichotomy identified by Miramontes, Nadeau, and Commins (1997) between school reform efforts and accommodating linguistic diversity. We also found little evidence that SEAs were modifying CSRD to bridge this dichotomy.