Theresa Zhen, a native of New York City's Chinatown, paints a picture of Chinatowns being communities in which residents are generally isolated from the resources they need to succeed. In an op-ed piece in Asians in America Magazine, Zhen makes a distinction between acculturated Chinese and Chinese who are newcomers and may be very isolated because of their poverty and lack of English skills. She notes that in San Francisco's Chinatown, the median household income is $17,886, compared with San Francisco's median household income of $55,221. She says schools are overcrowded in that city's Chinatown. Acculturated Chinese students ...


The What Works Clearinghouse finds that eight studies of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, or SIOP, a framework for teaching ELLs content and English at the same time, don't meet the "evidence standards" criteria of the clearinghouse.


This week's Carnival of Education has a compilation of some free language Web sites. Pat Hensley, over at Successful Teaching, who is an avid hiker, set up the carnival as a hiking adventure. Scramble on down to the second-to-last entry in the carnival to find The Master List of Free Language Learning Resources, offered by universitiesandcolleges.org. From there, I found a couple of podcasts for English-language learners ("English as a Second Language Podcast" and "6 Minute English"). General Language Learning Sites is also a useful compilation of resources....


How U.S. schools are supporting Iraqi refugee children is one bright spot in a report released today by the International Rescue Committee called "Iraqi Refugees in the United States: In Dire Straits." The report is based on interviews with Iraqi refugees and people who support them in Atlanta and Phoenix. The authors of the report met Iraqi parents in those cities who were frustrated with their own situation but hopeful about the prospects of their children. The report's authors talked with Iraqi students and educators at the DeKalb International Student Center in Atlanta and the Montebello Elementary School in ...


Advocates for Children of New York and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund released a report today contending that English-language learners were not well served by the break up of two Brooklyn high schools into smaller schools. As the New York City Department of Education continues to close large schools and replace them with smaller ones, "ELL students—who experience some of the lowest graduation rates in the city—are left with fewer and fewer options or are simply left behind," the report argues. At the same time, let me note that someone has filed a complaint...


The first four Somali Bantu, a refugee group that starting arriving in Lewiston, Maine, in 2005 have graduated from high school in that community, according to a story in the Sun Journal. In Somalia, the Bantus lived in farming villages that tended not to have schools. Then they fled Somalia for Kenya and spent years in refugee camps. The four who graduated had little or no formal schooling when they arrived in the United States in 2005. The article says that they spent a year in classes for English-language learners before moving to mainstream classes. The article doesn't say how ...


A national analysis by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford released yesterday contained some good news about English-language learners in charter schools, according to an article by my colleague Lesli A. Maxwell posted yesterday at edweek.org. Students in charter schools were compared with students in regular public schools. The study found that African-American and Hispanic students did worse academically in charter schools, while students from low-income families and English-language learners in charter schools did better on state tests in reading and math than their counterparts in other public schools....


Illinois' requirement for school districts to offer bilingual education is hurting English-language learners, argues Anne Swanson, an assistant superintendent for the Woodland Community Consolidated School District in Illinois, in a paper released this month by the Lexington Institute. "Use of native-language instruction should be permissive and not mandatory," she writes. And the Illinois Association of School Boards apparently agrees with her. Ben Schwarm, the associate executive director for that organization, writes in a preface to the paper that his organization passed a resolution last year saying it would ask the state legislature to make bilingual education optional. But he told ...


Two trends in professional development that are sweeping the country—Response to Intervention, or RTI, and the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, or SIOP—will converge during a summer institute in Long Beach, Calif. The workshop is a sign that how to carry out Response to Intervention, an approach in which educators try various interventions before determining if students need to be evaluated for special education, for ELLs is a new hot topic on the horizon. Jana Echevarria, a special education professor at California State University, Long Beach, and MaryEllen Vogt, an associate professor of education at the same university,...


A number of education organizations in California filed a lawsuit in a state court today alleging that California is violating federal laws and the state constitution by suspending the monitoring of specialized education programs for at least one year. (My first thought on this was, "Someone must be trying to save some money in a state desperately short of cash.") The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco against the state, says programs that won’t be reviewed include those serving students who are English-language learners, migrants, neglected or delinquent, or homeless. (See the press release ...


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