In Houston, we have YES Prep charter schools serving a predominantly Hispanic group of students. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, we have IDEA charter schools. In Chicago, we may soon associate charter schools with UNO, which stands for United Neighborhood Organization, Chicago's largest Latino community organization. UNO just received a $98 million grant from the state of Illinois to run charter schools, according to an article published today in the Chicago Tribune. The organization already runs eight charter schools and plans to use the funds to double that number to 16. UNO's eight charter schools serve 3,450 ...


The Choosing America Project is seeking anecdotes from immigrants that it can possibly turn into short films for public screening. The project, which calls itself a "creative initiative" without an affiliation with any organization, doesn't have a deadline for submissions. A public relations person told me that the project organizers are hoping to get "many stories as soon as possible." The project doesn't want to receive life stories or accounts of the immigration process. Rather it seeks stories of 1,500-4,000 words about a "decisive moment that determined the course of your life in America." The description of the ...


"The Today Show" broadcasts an interview with Ron Unz, who financed the effort to curtail bilingual education in California back in 1998, for a segment that attempts to answer the question, "Should education in the U.S. be bilingual?" The show stresses how the Hispanic student population has grown dramatically in this country in places that didn't traditionally receive a lot of immigrants, such as North Carolina. Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy As usual, Unz contends that English-language learners have fared better in California since voters approved a ballot initiative to reduce ...


A Stanford University research explores how language shapes how people think.


New York City must do more to support large high schools, where many students with poor academic performance or special needs ended up, after some large high schools were replaced by small ones, according to a new report (via a post at GothamSchools). The report notes that many new immigrant students were diverted to the remaining large high schools. See coverage of the report in the New York Times as well. The report by the New School's Center for New York Affairs was released the day after a report by Advocates for Children of New York and the Asian American ...


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...


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