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 ...


The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition is churning out Webinars about English-language learners these days. I've already promoted one about testing little kids in English-language proficiency, scheduled for this coming Monday, June 15, 2 p.m., Eastern time. Sign up here. A couple of others are planned as well for this month: June 16, 2 p.m., Eastern time. "Participation and Performance of English-Learners in the National Assessment of Educational Progress." Register here. June 18, 2 p.m., Eastern time. "Making Tests Fair for English-Language Learners." Sign up here. Update: Here's one more: June 19, 2 p.m., Eastern ...


In The New York Times column After Deadline, Philip B. Corbett reports that news coverage of Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has raised some questions about the usage of words such as "Latino," "Hispanic," and "immigrant." It's a topic that is relevant to this blog since 68 percent of English-language learners are Spanish-speaking, and teachers and administrators may often be in the position of describing them to others. Corbett notes that Sotomayor refers to herself as "Latina." He adds that while "Latino" or "Hispanic" are acceptable, some people have a strong preference. He says that reporters ...


Education Week has put together an online package of articles about English-language learners that covers hot topics in the field such as assessment, placement, and ways to enhance instruction for ELLs, such as through after-school programs or technology. It includes a couple of commentaries as well as news articles and sells for $4.95. In case you are wondering, I didn't write all the articles. One on research and another on assessment, for example, were written by my colleagues. So far, Education Week has published similar packages on teacher-performance pay, response to intervention, and math and science education as part ...


The Austin, Texas, school board approved a plan for the district to use some of its federal stimulus funds to benefit English-language learners.


A Washington Post reporter and photographer visit command central for scoring Virginia's portfolio tests in Fairfax County. The tests are used for ELLs and students with disabilities.


What I like best about this article from the Washington Post about how English-language learners from two different schools take a fishing trip together every year is the story about how the annual event got started. Two decades ago, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at Bethesda Elementary School in Maryland had a student who had lived and survived in the jungles of Cambodia with his family for two years. She took her class of ELLs to a local lake so the boy could display his remarkable talent for fishing and teach his classmates. Hence a tradition began that is still going on ...


Pressure from the office for civil rights of the U.S. Department of Education pushed the Salt Lake City school district to bolster services for English-language learners, according to a number of teachers who work directly with such students. I interviewed them during a visit there last month. My article, "English-Learners' Lot Improves With Federal Pressure," was published on Friday at Education Week. At the same time, the office for civil rights has recently had a reputation for being soft on enforcement, William L. Taylor, the chairman of the Washington-based Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, told me in an interview ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments