Dr. Francesca Lopez, Assistant Professor of Educational Policy and Leadership has been awarded a 2-year $35,000 grant from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The AERA grants program AERA Grants Program provides funding for researchers who conduct studies of education policy and practice using quantitative methods and including the analysis of data from the large-scale data sets sponsored by National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and NSF.
The AERA funding will extend Dr. Lopez's research focusing on NAEP data in conjunction with reading achievement among Hispanic students in 8 states. Data from the initial study showed that states with a stronger bilingual emphasis promote the reading achievement of not only Hispanic ELLs, but of Hispanic non-ELLs as well.
Over the next two years, Dr. Lopez will expande her study to include all 50 states and Washington D.C. Her research will examine both 4th and 8th grade across not only reading, but also science and math using the new 2009 NAEP data, with the goal of testing whether exposure to academic language in students’ native language is necessary for English language acquisition in academic settings.
"I’m very excited about the award for a number of reasons," Dr. Lopez comments, "I think the results will contribute substantially to the ongoing debate about which method of language acquisition is superior, as well as the first look at a state-by-state analysis of teaching, ELLs, and how they address achievement gaps with their policies aimed at ELLs and math/science initiatives."