Massachusetts Research on Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)

To further support students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE), the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) contracted CAL to conduct research about the education of SLIFE in the state and nationwide.

CAL completed three research activities for this project:

  1. A comprehensive literature review of best practices in identifying and educating SLIFE and supporting their academic success and socio-emotional well-being;
  2. A survey of Massachusetts English Learner (EL) coordinators’ SLIFE identification and monitoring practices; and
  3. An analysis of DESE’s existing SLIFE data that investigated SLIFE counts and characteristics, graduation and dropout rates compared with non-SLIFE EL peers, rates of dual identification for special education services, and performances on standardized tests relative to non-SLIFE EL peers. The analysis also modeled the incidence of underreporting of SLIFE in the state.

To learn more and access the literature review and executive summary, please visit:

About the Project

Funder: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
May 2022 – June 2023