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The Marriage of Title I and Title III

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Given that the joining of Title I and Title III under one administrative office of the U.S. Department of Education has already taken place, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. has put aside its objections and put out a joint statement with the National Association of State Title I Directors with recommendations for how the union should work. It's a statement about how the two programs should be coordinated from the federal level down to the classroom.

Title III is the section of the No Child Left Behind Act that authorizes funds for English-language acquisition programs. Title I is the section that authorizes money for disadvantaged children. The statement says that each program has "a different purpose and focus, and the integrity of each program must be maintained."

Here's an excerpt on what should happen at the ground level:

Language acquisition occurs throughout the school day and across all academic content areas: thus effective and meaningful collaboration between [English-as-a-second-language]/bilingual educators and content-area teachers is essential for English language learners' academic success. This reorganization represents an opportunity for the Title I and Title III offices at the federal level to encourage and foster such meaningful collaboration at the state and local level.

Encouraging and fostering meaningful collaboration while also keeping one's distinct characteristics? Seems like good advice for any partnership.

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What this really means can be suspect. How are specific needs of ESOL students dealt with? Are they just to "worked in" to the regular curriculum or are their needs and assets to be considered and allowed their own individuality?

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