Briana Diaz

Briana is a Research Analyst who is currently studying the City Colleges of Chicago system as well as the many K-12 assessments administered to Chicago Public Schools students.  Before joining the UChicago Consortium Briana worked in New Orleans public education for nine years, serving as a middle- and high-school science teacher, school district data analyst and database architect, and policy researcher at Tulane University’s Education Research Alliance.

The many benefits of learning in a child's native language

Thanks to the Sun-Times for publicizing one of the most important but least-known findings in education, just confirmed by the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research, in the recent editorial “When Chicago schools meet immigrant families halfway, kids learn”.

As reported, the Chicago research showed that development of the child’s first language means better English and better school performance in general...

Challenging conventional wisdom, report finds promising academic performance in Chicago's growing English learner population

For years, the academic performance of English learners in Chicago has looked grim, with research showing they lag far behind students who entered school as native English speakers. But a new report calls into question that conventional wisdom.

English learners aren’t lagging behind their peers in school, study finds

Educators and policymakers have long thought that children who entered school still learning English lagged behind their fellow students—an idea backed by years of data.

But according to new research from the University of Chicago, many English learners eventually match, or even exceed, the academic achievements of their peers...

Bilingual education programs in Chicago schools are paying off, according to new study

Chicago Public Schools students who aren’t proficient in English when they enter kindergarten tend to have better attendance and in some cases higher test scores than their peers who are native English speakers, according to a new study by the University of Chicago.

Researchers and officials in CPS, where about a third of students are identified as English learners at some point during their schooling, said the findings should help dispel misconceptions that children in English learning programs are less likely to succeed academically than their peers...

Study

Chicago’s recipe for EL success includes providing an early intervention platform that features professional development, tutoring and its new Curriculum Equity Initiative, which focuses on ensuring that teachers have standards-aligned materials that are "free from bias; fair across race, religion, ethnicity and gender, and culturally relevant."

Bucking misconceptions, many English language learners in Chicago keeping pace with fluent English speakers

Wilma Milagros David knows that her bilingual students at Sandoval Elementary in Gage Park are working hard. As principal she sees them at school, improving in math or focusing on work even when they may be tired or have trouble at home. 

But the progress David sees her students make hasn’t always shown up in the research about bilingual students...

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