A Quantitative Comparative Analysis of Bilingual and English As a Second Language Programs Utilizing the Iowa Test of Basic Skills

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Educational Administration

Date of Award

Summer 2013


The Hispanic and limited English proficient (LEP) population is growing at a fast pace. As the demographics continue to change, educators must remain diligent in researching the most effective ways to educate second language learners. The diverse population of the United States requires innovative decisions when trying to reach students, especially those who speak languages other than English. With over 60 native languages spoken in some school districts, finding effective ways to teach English language learners (ELLs) will impact student achievement in the community. It is important that bilingual and ESL programs are compared to determine if one program type has a greater impact on student success. Information on these programs will help guide school administration into effective program designs that aim at closing the achievement gap for all English language learners. This quantitative study compared the effects of the type of program, bilingual or ESL, on Hispanic and limited English proficient students when analyzing Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) data in the area of reading and language for students in second, fifth, and seventh grade. The evaluation involved extracting and analyzing bilingual and ESL student ITBS data from the 2011-2012 school year from a large suburban school district in North Texas. Student scores were analyzed by program participation (bilingual or ESL). In addition, student growth was measured using ITBS data from previous years. From the analysis of data, students who participated in the ESL program in second grade exhibited higher achievement and growth than students in the bilingual program in second grade. However, by fifth and seventh grade, students in the bilingual and ESL programs performed commensurate with each other.


Maria Hinojosa

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision