Over the last three years, DC Immersion has been working to gather data to study the impact of DC’s dual language programs on achievement. Preliminary data obtained from the DC Office of the State Superintendent on Education (OSSE) shows students in dual language programs far outperform their peers who are not in dual language programs. See graph below provided by OSSE in February 2016. Of course, this data needs to be controlled for a number of factors, including demographics of students in dual language programs versus rest of the District. This research is further complicated by availability of data for DCPS’ strand programs and the District’s high student mobility.
Together with the National Foreign Language Center of the University of Maryland, DC Immersion is working on longitudinal research on the demographics of students in the District’s dual language programs. This research will not only shed more light on achievement in the dual language programs of the District, but also on whether dual language programs are more or less diverse than non dual language programs.
DC Immersion believes that, by prioritizing cross-sector research on achievement in those areas in which evidence from other states shows substantial gains, the District could gain useful perspective on innovative initiatives to narrow the achievement gap, and ground its policies in solid, District-wide data.