Date of Award

Summer 6-13-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Barbara Weschke, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Carmel Acosta-Cooper, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Deborah A. Johnson-Blake, D.M.


This qualitative multi-case study was conducted in California, using a selected sample of 20 local education agencies (LEA). This sample was utilized to analyze the effectiveness of how K-12 school districts are meeting the needs of long-term English learners (LTEL) while implementing the local-control accountability plan. The sample of local education agencies was comprised of school districts with student enrollments ranging from 1,500 to 30,000, located in urban, suburban, and rural communities. The results of the study revealed that 13 of 20 LEAs (65%) implemented interventions above and beyond the state required English language development standards. The study also reviewed each LEAs’ assessment results to determine themes in the number of LTEL students demonstrating acquisition of second-language literacy. English learner and LTEL cohort data on students attaining English proficiency posted by the state was analyzed. The study revealed differences between LEAs that implemented interventions aligned to the threshold, transference, and academic literacy theories, and LEAs that did not. Data trend patterns indicated that LEAs who utilized interventions aligned to the threshold, transference, and academic literacy theories produced less LTEL students than those LEAs that did not. The results of this study may impact how LEAs prioritize goals in their local-control accountability plans.