Term

Summer 8-13-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Amy Hewett-Olatunde

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kathryn Heinze

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Angela Froemming

Abstract

Implementation of new educational initiatives is never without challenges, and the implementation of WIDA’s English Language Development (ELD) Standards is no exception. As a transformative framework aligning content standards with indicators of language proficiency growth, WIDA Standards have the potential to support and enhance differentiation efforts for English learners. Drawing on the work of implementation science, this research analyzes qualitative interview data from twelve public school districts in Minnesota to determine what is being done to put WIDA Standards into practice. Semi-structured interviewing techniques and cross-case data coding form the basis of the research methodology. The study examines the relationship between academic content standards and language standards and seeks to establish teacher voice as a driving force in implementation efforts. Results of the study reveal the complicated nature of defining WIDA Standards and establishing a sustainable plan of action to move past adoption and into full implementation.

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