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Kris Gutierrez Is in Obama's Education Working Group


Kris Gutierrez is an expert on the education of English-language learners and has been selected to be a member of the education policy working group of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team. She's a professor of social-research methodology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She's also one of the 11 members of the U.S. Department of Education's Reading First Advisory Committee. I quoted her in October 2007 in an article I wrote about how many educators and experts felt that Reading First, a program authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act, had to be refined to be more effective for ELLs.

Here's an excerpt from my Oct. 24 article:

"My opinion is we have a long ways to go to meet the needs of English-language learners under the current policies and practices of Reading First,” Ms. Gutiérrez said. Among the program’s problems, she said, are that students’ reading skills are tested before they learn English, the literacy curriculum is too narrow, and teachers are not prepared to work with ELLs.

Thank you for this important information. This blog provides valuable information for those of us concerned with ELLs. Media attention focuses on more high profile appointees to President-elect Obama's transition team. I look forward to more insight on how things may be changing.

Reading First needs to be gotten rid of and ESOL students shouldn't be taught reading the same as native speakers. The object has to be broader and teach speaking, listening reading and writing. I do believe that if we could teach more verbal language in school, it might help the native language population too.

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