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National Teachers' Union to Host Event on Common Standards, ELLs

The American Federation of Teachers is set to host its second event in six months that will be focused on common-core implementation and what the new standards mean for English-language learners and the educators who work with them.

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, AFT will webcast a series of presentations on issues related to the new standards and ELLs from its Washington headquarters. The event—from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST—will feature two leaders from the Stanford University Understanding Language initiative, which is developing resources for common core and English-learners. Officials from the two, multistate testing consortia (the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consoritum and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC) will talk about how the needs of ELLs are being considered as the new common assessments are designed, which is a major area of interest and concern in the field.

Representatives from the group of experts who developed a recently released guide for states as they update, revamp, and rewrite the English-language-proficiency standards to connect with the common core will explain how the framework can be a tool for classroom teachers. Finally, the project manager from the bilingual website ColorĂ­n Colorado—which receives some support from the AFT—will discuss the information and numerous resources it has assembled for educators working with English-learners.

Last June, AFT hosted a similar event. That's where I learned about interesting work under way in Albuquerque, N.M., to ensure that ELLs and their teachers are prepared for the rigorous academic expectations in the common core (to be featured in an upcoming Education Week special report on the common core to be published Nov. 14).

I'll be at the Nov. 13 discussion and will bring you the details. For more information on watching the webcast, visit the AFT's website.

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