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UMDI Study: School Design Impact in Rochester, NY


The UMASS Donahue Institute performed a quasi-experimental study 2007-2008 to 2008-2009 comparing two EL Education schools in Rochester, NY to 12 local district schools. Study findings included improved student academic performance with “substantial and statistically significant advantages” for students attending the EL Education schools.

The Study: 

The UMASS Donahue Institute (UMDI) implemented a quasi-experimental study over the course of two school years (2007-2008 to 2008-2009) comparing two schools implementing the EL Education School Design model in Rochester, NY with 12 non-EL Education schools in the local district on New York State end-of-year assessment scores. Schools were matched based on percentages of Economically Disadvantaged and English-Language Learner students. Other demographic factors such as gender, race, special education status, and prior test scores were accounted for using statistical methods.


In their analysis, UMDI found that “the effect of being in an EL Education school was positive, substantial, and significant (p <.01)” for both years of elementary school mathematics, both years of elementary school ELA, and both years of middle school ELA based on New York State end-of-year assessment results. Results for EL Education middle schools did not show the same positive results as in other areas.

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