August 2009 Archives

The last "Read to the Top!" event of the summer hosted by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was bilingual.


One of the regional laboratories of the Institute of Education Sciences is holding a free Webinar on Sept. 16, noon to 1 p.m. Eastern Time, to discuss findings from a study of the nation's most popular English-language proficiency test used for accountability under NCLB.


Over at Politics K-12, my colleague Alyson Klein writes that the Aspen Institute's commission on the No Child Left Behind Act has been revived. The commission, whose recommendations have been influential among federal policymakers, plans to hold a series of hearings over the next four months on such issues as turning around low-performing schools and improving high schools. The long list of new members of the commission includes Delia Pompa, who is very familiar with federal policies pertaining to English-language learners in this country. She's now the National Council of La Raza's vice president for education. In a former post, ...


James Crawford, a longtime writer about English-language learners and president of the Institute for Language and Education Policy, has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan contending that proposed priorities for Race to the Top are a bad idea for teachers of English-language learners.


Street Law Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes civics education, is seeking funding from foundations to adapt its high school law textbook for English-language learners.


The governing board of the National Assessment of Educational Progress is inviting the public to comment on its proposals to bring more uniformity to how the test includes English-language learners and special education students.


Duane Campbell of Choosing Democracy blog argues that it would be unfair for teachers of English-language learners to be evaluated according to how their students perform on standardized tests because those tests aren't valid and reliable for that group of students.


In a blog post on the Room for Debate blog of the New York Times, "Frustrated Early Childhood Teacher" characterizes some teacher coursework offered by education schools as "laughable."


A teacher in the West Contra School District in Richmond, Calif., expresses concern that, because of budget cuts, class sizes will grow in her district. About one-third of students in the district are ELLs.


Mainstream elementary and secondary education teachers are much more likely to get training through traditional teacher-preparation courses focused on students with disabilities than on English-language learners, a Government Accountability Office study released today says.


The D.C. Public Charter School Board has approved the request of the Academia Bilingue de la Comunidad, a bilingual charter school in the District of Columbia, to give up its charter. That means it won't operate this school year. A press release from the charter school board said the school had low enrollment, which translated into financial troubles. Without that school and three others that closed in D.C. over the past school year, the charter board oversees 56 public charters. But the nation's capital still has six bilingual charter schools (two of them are for adults), according to ...


California has released its test scores for 2009. Both in math and English, more ELLs scored at or above "proficient" than in the previous year.


Juan Sepulveda, the director of the White House Initiative on Hispanic Americans, is in California this week, speaking and listening about how to improve education for Latinos.


The San Diego Teachers Union is concerned that a proposal for bilingual education recently approved by the district's board of education will mean more work for teachers, according to Voice of San Diego.org.


U.S. Rep. Michael M. Honda, a Democrat from California, has introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress that would increase federal funding for English-language instruction. The bill has also been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York.


A series of videos and stories about the children of immigrants in California, produced by News21 at the University of Southern California, tells about how the children of some farm workers are extremely motivated to do well in school and have become professionals.


Learning the Language is on Kindle.


Rowaida Abdelaziz, a 17-year-old Muslim high school senior in New Jersey, explains she doesn't wear the hijab as a sign of submission, as some Americans might think, according to an article published today by CNN


Jesuit Refugee Services/USA has designed a free curriculum to teach high school students about refugee and migration issues.


The office for civil rights of the U.S. Department of Education has received a complaint from the League of United Latin American Citizens of Wisconsin that the Milwaukee school district is discriminating against English-language learners.


It's OK to teach children to read two languages at the same time, says Barbara Zurer Pearson, author of Raising a Bilingual Child, in an "ask an expert" column posted at SpanglishBaby.


Pamela Spycher, who directs WestEd's Egnslih-learners and language arts project, will be giving a Webinar on Aug. 20, from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eatern Time on how to teach academic language to English-language learners in grades K-8.


Scholastic and Colorin Colorado have published articles providing tips for how teachers can welcome English-language learners.


A task force looking at how best to include English-language learners in the National Assessment of Educational Progress report that "targeted testing" might work well for that group of students, according to Curriculum Matters.


With Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, it's possible that a "Sotomayor effect" on Latino education has begun.


Eduflack says that people shouldn't lose sight of the fact that while Los Angeles schools experienced a 17 percent decline in the dropout rate over the course of one year, the dropout rate is still 26.4 percent.


An article by Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher of English-language learners at Luther Burbank High School in California, published today by Teacher Magazine is not only about Ferlazzo's experiences in visiting the homes of some of his students. It's also about how the Sacramento City Unified School District has partnered with its local teachers' union to support visits of teachers districtwide to their students' homes. It's called the Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project. Through the project, teachers are compensated for their time in making home visits. Now that's an innovation....


The summer edition of the Language-Learning Carnival has been posted.


Mary Ann Zehr of Learning the Language is tweeting. http://twitter.com/mazehr


The principal of Valley High School in Las Vegas says his school's graduation rate of 55 percent is inaccurate. One reason for the inaccuracy, he says, is that many of his school's students are Mexicans who go back and forth across the border, and are hard to track.


The unintended consequences of high-stakes testing and accountability systems for English-language learners outweigh any benefits that standardized tests might have for such students, argue Marcelo Suarez-Orozco and Corola Suarez-Orozco in an online editorial for the New York Times.


Juan Sepulveda, the director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, is taking an 18-state tour to hold a series of "community conversations" about Hispanic education.


A study in Germany found that if immigrant kids go to kindergarten, they are 25 percent more likely to take a pre-college track in education, according to Newsweek.


Larry Ferlazzo has created a new blog about engaging parents in schools and will also soon publish a book on that topic.


Cafe Latino Lifestyle Magazine takes a look at different kinds of bilingual education programs at private and public schools in the Chicago area.


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