September 2009 Archives

A working group of experts on policy for English-language learners is conducting a survey to find out how states and school districts plan to use stimulus funds for the education of ELLs, and what obstacles might prevent them from doing so.


Margaret Garcia Dugan, the deputy superintendent for the Arizona Department of Education, is running for superintendent of public instruction in Arizona.


A new guide on the legal rights of undocumented students in schools does a good job in spelling out where courts have ruled on a particular issue and where they have not.


The U.S. Department of Education needs to permit direct communication between state education officials and reviewers during the peer review process for state tests, a report by the General Accountability Office concludes.


The New York Times reports this week in an article, "Bhutan Refugees Find a Toehold in the Bronx," how a number of Bhutanese refugee families have formed what might be called a Bhutanese neighborhood in the Bronx.


The Hidalgo and the Pharr San-Juan Alamo independent school districts both carry out "effective, asset-based models" for instruction of English-language learners, according to an issue brief published by the American Youth Policy Forum. The organization sponsored a trip for congressional staffers and other policymakers to those districts in May to highlight how they were preparing ELLs for college and the workplace. As required by Texas law, both districts provide bilingual education at least through the 5th grade. The brief explains in detail how Pharr San-Juan Alamo runs a dual-language immersion program for students through the high school grades. More typically, ...


Both CNN and the Associated Press have reported this month that a school district superintendent in Del Rio, Texas, is cracking down on the enrollment of Mexican residents who cross the U.S.-Mexico border each day to attend school. Legally, school districts are obliged to enroll children who reside in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. They aren't required to take children who actually live in Mexico. Interestingly, the superintendent is Kelt Cooper, the superintendent of the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated School District. He's the same man who was hired by Arizona Superintendent of Instruction Tom ...


The North Carolina State Community College Board has reversed its earlier ban on admission of undocumented students to the state's community colleges, according to Inside Higher Education.


Some school districts are trying to figure out how to apply Response to Intervention, an approach for providing help to struggling students that's gotten lots of attention in the field of special education, to English-language learners.


Mexicans living in the United States are more likely than Puerto Ricans living here to say they speak English "less than very well," according to five profiles of Spanish-speaking groups published by the Pew Hispanic Center.


Claire Sylvan, the executive director of the Internationals Network for Public Schools, shares 12 tips on how to integrate children from immigrant families into schools.


English-language learners are much more inclined than regular mainstream students to set the bar high in talking about their "hopes and dreams," observes Larry Ferlazzo, a social studies and English teacher for both ELLs and mainstream students at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif.


I'm headed to Chicago for a reporting trip and don't expect to post anything on this blog until next Friday, Sept. 18....


In Massachusetts, English-language learners who attend charter schools are much more likely to have been in the United States for a longer period of time on average than ELLs in the regular public schools, according to an issue brief written by the Somerville, Mass.-based Multicultural Education, Training, and Advocacy Inc., an advocacy group for ELLs. The group found that 31 percent of ELLs who took the state's English-language-proficiency test had been in school in the United States for one or two years. But at charter schools, only 13 percent of ELLs had been in U.S. schools for that ...


Some immigrants really go to heroic efforts to make time to attend English classes, as a video about the day in the life of the Evans Community Adult School in Los Angeles demonstrates.


Kate Menken, an assistant professor of linguistics at City University of New York, will be a guest today for a chat at EdWeek about educating English-language learners. The chat will begin at 2 p.m., Eastern time, and will last for one hour.


The San Francisco school district opened a school at the end of last month that replicates ones for immigrant students that have a strong track record in New York City.


The Horne v. Flores case concerning ELLs in Arizona ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court in June will head back to federal court this month, according to stories by the Associated Press and Arizona Republic.


U.S. schools aren't doing enough to educate the children of immigrants so that they can compete with upcoming generations of youths in places such as Hong Kong, Korea, and Finland, argue Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco and Carola Suarez-Orozco in a Sept. 5 column in the Huffington Post.


An editorial in the Boston Globe and a response from someone who has been active for years in the national debate over how to best teach English to children from immigrant families suggest that Boston educators have ignored their responsibility to make sure ELLs get special help to learn the language.


Kate Menken, an assistant professor of linguistics at the City University of New York, will be guest of an EdWeek chat on educating long-term English-language learners on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Eastern time.


Educators often diminish the importance of focusing on students' skills in speaking and listening in English as well as reading and writing, says a thoughtful post over at a new blog created by Ballard & Tighe, which publishes an English-proficiency test. The post is written by three consultants who specialize in education for ELLs at the Teacher Writing Center. The writers say that "practical experience and formal research underscore the significance of oral language as a critical part of an English-learner's achievement of full language proficiency." Speaking English is a precursor to reading and writing, they argue. They go on to ...


Three scholars of language-minority students, or those who come from homes where a language other than English is spoken, have edited a book that attempts to convey the latest research and policy analysis concerning these students.


Children of immigrants account for about one-quarter of children in the nation under age 5, and their share of school enrollment will grow as they move into elementary school, according to a report on student demographics by the Washington-based Urban Institute.


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