Current Research Projects

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Project 1: In-school Stratification Practices for Language Different Students

Title: An analysis of reclassification criteria for English language learners (ELL) in California: Disparate criteria lead to disparate outcomes for students and educational entities

Description: Many, if not all, high-stakes decisions during students’ K-12 trajectories are based on student stratification within the school system. In the case of language minority students, classification into one of several language proficiency categories (i.e., I-FEP/FEP, ELL and R-FEP) is unavoidable upon enrollment in a public school. Further, the reclassification, from ELL to Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (R-FEP) status is a complicated process in California, which involves multivariable criteria – with only few that provide uniform guidance from the state’s department of education. As a result, re-classification measures from ELL to R-FEP vary considerably from district to district in the state and create inconsistent re-classification outcomes for ELLs (Cook & Linquanti, 2015; Okhremtchouk, 2014). To shed light on this significant issue, in this statewide study we aim to decipher the reclassification practices that California’s districts utilize to reclassify their ELL students to R-FEP status to inform district leaders and practitioners as well as those in charge of preparing school/district administrators of high number of inconsistencies in reclassification criteria for the fastest growing segment of student population (i.e., ELLs).

Publications & Presentations:*indicates students

  • Okhremtchouk, I. Levine-Smith, J.* & Clark, A.* (2018). The web of re/classification criteria for English language learners (ELL) – a cyclical journey waiting to be interrupted: Discussion of realities, challenges and opportunities. Educational Leadership and Administration, 29(1), 1-13.
    Direct link: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1172216.pdf
  • Okhremtchouk, I. & Clark, A.* (in-press). The politics of despair enabled by dysconscious xenophobiaism: A call to action on behalf of immigrants and their children. Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education
  • Okhremtchouk, I.S., Levine-Smith, J.* & Jones, C.* (2017). An analysis of reclassification for English language learners (ELL) in California: Disparate criteria lead to disparate outcomes for students and educational entities. California Association of Professors of Educational Administration (CAPEA), San Diego.
  • Okhremtchouk, I.S. (2014). Classifying language-minority students: A closer look at individual student data. Bilingual Research Journal, 37(3), 327-348. Direct link: https://doi.org/10.1080/15235882.2014.965359

Project 2: The Demographic Mismatch Between Students and District Leaders in California’s Public Educational System: An Examination of Internal Dynamics Leading to Lack of Opportunities for Superintendents of Color

Description: We aim to understanding how public school governance and leadership structures operate and, more importantly, the dynamics around how school boards select their top administrator (district superintendents) as well as factors that contribute to their decision-making. Despite the fact that public school student population is becoming more diverse, White male superintendents continue to lead more school districts in the U.S. than any other subgroup or gender.

Publications & Presentations:*indicates students

  • Okhremtchouk, I.S., Sharp, J.C.* & Merino-Cruz, J.A.* (2017) A Closer Look at the Largest California Districts: Governance, Superintendents, Students and Communities. California Association of Professors of Educational Administration (CAPEA), San Diego.
  • Okhremtchouk, I. (2017). The politics of schools and money: Building awareness about channeling practices for supplemental resource allocations to serve English language learners. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25 (17). Direct link: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.2819
  • Okhremtchouk, I. (2015). Why equity matters in “turn white and speak English” political climate: Educational trajectories of students who are learning the English language. In M .K. Esposito & A. H. Normore (Eds.), Inclusive practices for special populations in urban settings: The need for social justice leadership (pp. 1-20). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.