Does Reclassification Change How English Learners Feel About School and Themselves?
Reclassification can be an important juncture in the academic experience of English learners (ELs). Literature has explored the potential for reclassification to influence academic outcomes like achievement, but its impact on social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, which are malleable and important for long-term success, remains unclear. Using a regression discontinuity design, we examine the causal effect of reclassification on SEL skills (self-efficacy, growth mindset, self-management, and social awareness) among fourth to eighth graders. In the districts studied, reclassification improved academic self-efficacy by 0.2 standard deviations for students near the cutoff threshold. Results are robust to alternative specifications and analyses. Given this evidence, we discuss ways districts could establish practices that instill more positive academic beliefs among ELs.