Educational Leaders’ Challenges in Creating Equitable Opportunities for English Language Learners, 13(3)

  • Elizabeth Murakami


The purpose of this position paper was to explore the challenges faced by principals in creating equitable opportunities for English language learners (ELLs) in the United States. We questioned “To what extent are educational leaders encouraged to create environments that value cultural diversity and the promotion of English language learners?” Our inquiry was prompted by the dearth of research in the U.S. supporting multicultural programs, coupled with the resistance of and minimal efforts by legislators to support policies that promote the improvement of ELLs. Using a review of literature, and informed by scholars who have examined the “Americanization” phenomenon, we analyzed state and federal educational policies focused on the promotion of ELLs. We considered whether these policies, intended to help students, are not in fact hindering educational leaders’ efforts to create environments in which multiculturalism is valued.