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What Happened at the Subcommittee Hearing on ELLs?

Those of us who weren't able to attend the March 23 U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on English-language learners and reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act can read testimonies and listen to the hearing by Webcast through the Web site of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

I'm catching up this week on what happened, along with all of you--I didn't attend the hearing because I was covering the annual conference of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Inc. in Seattle. While what goes on inside the policymaking rooms of Congress is important, I enjoyed getting out of the Washington area to learn about what's happening with English-language learners in schools in places like Kansas, Missouri, and Massachusetts. Some of the conference attendees were a bit miffed that the Washington lawmakers scheduled the subcommittee hearing about English-language learners on the East Coast at the same time that they were tied up in a conference about such students on the West Coast. I suppose the lawmakers unintentionally scheduled the hearing for the same time the conference was going on, but it does make me wonder how much members of Congress pay attention to discussions about ELLs going on outside of Washington.

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