News Release

Davis receives dissertation funding from NSF

Grant and Award Announcement

George Mason University

Elizabeth Davis, a doctoral candidate in education policy, received $25,000 from the American Educational Research Association Grants Program funded by the National Science Foundation as part of a dissertation grant for her study: "The National Emergence of Newcomer Schools: A Critical Examination of Newcomer Schools and their Alignment to Immigration Trends and Accountability Outcomes." 

In contrast to the historical struggle of U.S. public schools to meet the needs of newcomers, studies show evidence that newcomer schools—schools specifically designed for students newly arrived to the United States with limited English and interrupted formal education—produce improved outcomes for students. These schools offer targeted interventions in districts with growing foreign populations and can mitigate overburdening educational systems by responding to waves of migration that tend to disproportionately impact under-resourced schools. While newcomer schools have gained popularity in some districts, researchers know little about the growth of these schools on the national level, their alignment to immigration patterns and changing demographics or the outcomes of these schools in meeting the educational needs of newcomer students.  

To fill this gap in understanding, Davis will use National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Common Core of Data (CCD) and other publicly available data to create a school-by-year newcomer school dataset that merges education and immigration data. Using the dataset, she will establish understanding of school- and district-level characteristics and trends of newcomer schools. Additionally, she will examine alignment of growth and location of these schools to growth in newcomer populations and will examine relationships between enrollment in newcomer schools and student outcomes, seeking to identify school and district characteristics that predict improved student outcomes. 

Funding for this award began in October 2021 and will end in late August 2022.  


About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 38,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at


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