Dr. Dylan Conger
View CV



GWIPP Research: Dylan Conger

This page features research funded through GWIPP and performed by Dylan Conger.

Title: The Cumulative Effect of the Pre-K - 3rd Education Experience on English Language Learners   

Researcher(s): Dylan Conger, Megan Hatch, Yuuko Vchikoshi (UC - Davis)

Funding: Foundation for Child Development

Category: Education Policy

Start Date: November 2008

Status: Completed

Summary: The primary goal of this study is to understand how the cumulative primary school experience influences the academic proficiency of English Language Learners (ELL) in the Miami-Dade County Public School System.  By primary school experience, we refer to the amount and type of services that students receive in the PK-8th grades from the public school system, including their grade upon entry into the system (with specific attention to the PK and K entry points); the characteristics of the schools, teachers, and peers to which they are exposed; and the types of English language instruction services they receive.

Title: The Implications of High School Course Availability and Course-Taking for Achievement, Graduation, and Postsecondary Enrollment

Funding: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

Researcher(s): Dylan Conger, Patrice Iatarola (Florida State University), and Mark Long (University of Washington)

Category: Social Policy

Start Date:July 2007

Status: Completed

Summary: Responding to increases in the demand for skilled labor, persistent racial and income gaps in academic outcomes, and the higher relative performance of secondary students from other developed countries, U.S. policymakers and educators have turned their attention, once again, towards high school curriculum.  To inform this effort, our study identifies the determinants of course-offerings across schools and course-taking within schools, and the effects of course-taking on outcomes at multiple stages of the students' high school and postsecondary careers.  We seek primarily to estimate: 1) the share of socioeconomic and demographic disparities in course-taking that can be attributed to variation across schools in their course offerings versus variation in course-taking among students within schools; and 2) the share of socioeconomic and demographic disparities in 10th grade test scores, four-year graduation rates, and enrollment rates in postsecondary institutions that can be attributed to differential returns to course-taking, differential course-taking within schools, and differential course offerings across schools.  The research relies on administrative data from the Florida Department of Education on the census of 8th through 12th grade public school students (and their schools) from 1998 to 2005.

Title: Time to English Proficiency Among Young English Learners

Funding: Foundation for Child Development

Researcher(s): Dylan Conger (GWIPP)

Category: Social Policy

Start Date: July 2007

Status: Completed

Summary: Acquiring English proficiency early in school is a crucial step to high academic performance and, ultimately, to successful labor market outcomes and social integration. Yet there is substantial variation in the speed with which young children pick up their second language, and inconclusive evidence about the factors that influence these varying trajectories.  Aiming for a more complete understanding, this project investigates how long it takes students to become English proficient and how the time to proficiency varies according to students’ background characteristics (e.g. country of origin), the grade at which they enter school, and the type of English instruction they receive.  The study uses longitudinal panels of young English Language Learners in New York City public schools.

Title: Trajectories of Immigrant Performance Over Time

Funding: Spencer Foundation

Researcher(s): Dylan Conger, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel (New York University)

Category: Social Policy

Start Date: September 2006

Status: Completed

Summary: Despite the difficulties of learning a new language and new customs, prior research suggests that young immigrant children fare relatively well in U.S. public schools. Yet, very little research has carefully studied how immigrant children fare over time in school and how their performance trajectories are shaped by the schools they attend, the age upon which they enter the U.S., and other family and student attributes. This study carefully examines the performance trajectories of immigrant children in New York City public schools. Specifically, we are tracking several cohorts of immigrant and native-born students and comparing changes in their relative performance from elementary through high school.  In addition to determining how their performance changes over time, we are exploring the effect of age upon entry—separately from the effect of length of residency—on children’s performance upon immigration and their trajectories over time.  Finally, we distinguish among the foreign-born, identifying the multiple pathways that they take and the factors that determine those pathways.  With this final analysis, we seek to identify the various peer groups that immigrant children assimilate to as they age and how their demographic and educational characteristics along with their schools influence these trajectories.  Our research is aimed at informing New York City educators and educators across the nation facing growing immigrant populations.