Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type

Dissertation (Access Restricted)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Randy Floyd

Committee Member

Alexandrea Golden

Committee Member

Emily Srisarajivakul

Committee Member

Bryn Harris


Active Bilingual Learners/Users of English (ABLE) are one of the fastest growing groups in the general student population, with an increase in growth of 60% in the last decade. To be classified as an ABLE student indicates that students have access to language skill supports such as language modifications and regular monitoring of performance in the classroom. Once ABLE students are considered to be proficient in English, they lose their ABLE designation, are reclassified as English proficient, and lose their previous supports, potentially resulting in poor academic achievement. Federal policy merely dictates that (a) states must annually assess their ABLE student’s English proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, (b) states must have reclassification criteria based on objective standards, and (c) ABLE students should only reclassify once they can read, write, and comprehend English well enough to participate in an English-only classroom setting. Previous studies have found that criteria and standards across states for the identification and reclassification criteria have differed, with some parallels in the use of home language surveys and English language proficiency tests. However, each state relies on a different standard for identification and reclassification of their ABLE students. Using a rigorous double coding procedure, all policy documents on identification and reclassification from all 50 states and Washington D.C. were evaluated. Similar to previous findings, all states used home language surveys and English language proficiency tests in their identification policies, although some states had additional criteria and all states differed in the cut scores required to qualify. Similarly, all states had reclassification policies, with heavy emphasis on performance on English language proficiency tests, although such cut scores differed across states. Not all states had identification or reclassification criteria for ABLE students with disabilities, and most were identical to that of ABLE students without disabilities.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


No Access