In Livermore, Calif., administrators say that having certification to teach ELLs is a credential that can help teachers to keep their jobs during layoffs in cases where teachers are tied in the amount of seniority they have, according to a March 5 article in The Independent (see 4th to last paragraph). The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District has sent preliminary layoff notices to 25 teachers in the mail. The final notification happens May 15. Readers, are you finding this true in other school districts, that having certification to teach English-language learners is providing job security during these hard economic ...


It's a simple idea but not done enough in schools: having English-language learners who are native speakers of Spanish help a school's foreign-language students improve their Spanish. Check out this story about North Medford High School in Medford, Ore., that has created a bimonthly Spanish-conversation group for students who are native speakers of Spanish and advanced-Spanish students. It seems that it would also be good for the conversation group to have a component in which the ELLs could also improve their English with the native speakers of English. The article doesn't mention this. Over the years, one of the best ...


A complaint filed with the office for civil rights of the U.S. Department of Education questions if it's good for ELLs who are newcomers and attending a middle school in Utah to be separated from other students and taught in a newcomer program, according to an article published this week in The Salt Lake City Tribune. Interestingly, the article also gives the following information about Michael Clara, the person who filed the complaint: "He's specifically concerned about the school's decision to house newcomers outside the main building in portable classrooms." Let me attest to the fact that in my ...


A recent post on this blog, "What's an English-Proficiency Score Good For?," has prompted some interesting comments about how ACCESS for ELLs, the English-language proficiency test created by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment consortium, or WIDA, is working out on the ground. The test is being used by 19 states and is thus the most commonly used English-proficiency test in the nation. The post reports on a study showing that reading and writing scores for ELLs on the English-proficiency test are a good predictor for how they will perform on their states' regular English/language arts and mathematics tests. ...


Two articles in a special issue of the Teachers College Record, which is about the education of English-language learners and immigrant students, stress the importance of meaningful school relationships. (Only summaries of the articles are available free online.) An article based on a study of 407 recently arrived immigrant youths found that "supportive school-based relationships strongly contribute to both the academic engagement and the school performance" of those students. In that article, "The Significance of Relationships: Academic Engagement and Achievement Among Newcomer Immigrant Youth," Carola Suarez-Orozco, Allyson Pimental, and Margary Martin use data from a five-year study that resulted in ...


I tracked down a report of an audit by Oregon education officials of programs for English-language learners in the Portland, Ore., school district that The Oregonian reported on early last month. I share the audit report, which includes state officials' requirements for how Portland schools must improve programs for ELLs, with you because it touches on weaknesses in programs that I think are common in school districts. The main points of the audit are that the school system is not meeting state and federal laws because not all English-language learners in the district have access to the core curriculum. Also ...


The California Association for Bilingual Education and Pearson have created a "Bill of Rights" for English-language learners that stresses the need for teachers who work with them to have specialized training. It also emphasizes the benefits of teaching ELLs in such a way that enables them to maintain their native language while they are learning English. Many states are lacking policies that support these "rights." For example, only Arizona, Florida, and New York require all prospective teachers to have training in how to work with ELLs, according to Quality Counts 2009. Only 11 states have incentives for teachers to receive ...


How students score in reading and writing on an English-language-proficiency test is a good indicator of how they will score on their state's tests for reading, writing, and mathematics that are given to all students. That's what a study of 5th and 8th graders who took the English-proficiency test developed by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment consortium, or WIDA, concluded. Researchers for the study, which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, found that students' scores in the domains of reading and writing on the test were stronger predictors in how they did ...


Many of you who have had English-language learners from Asian families in your classrooms know that some of these children don't fit the stereotype that some Americans have of them of primarily coming from well-educated families whose parents work in high-tech jobs or at universities. But a report released today by the Asian American Federation based on U.S. Census data has some statistics that you may not have heard about the extent of poverty among Asian children in New York City. The report, "Working but Poor: Asian American Poverty in New York City," says that about one-fourth of Asian ...


Learning English may be a challenge for some Latinos, but it's not the main educational problem for most of them, argue Patricia Gandara and Frances Contreras in a new book, The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies. They point out that millions of Latino students speak only English but have really low academic achievement. Gandara is a professor of education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Contreras is an assistant professor of education at the University of Washington. Gandara is being hosted tomorrow by the American Youth Policy Forum on Capitol Hill for a presentation on ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments