The College Board, an association of 5,000 colleges and universities and the creator of the SAT, has publicly endorsed the "DREAM Act," which would give undocumented students who graduate from high schools in this country and attend college or serve in the military a path toward legalization. (See this week's coverage by USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.) At a briefing on Capitol Hill yesterday, College Board President Gaston Caperton expressed his organization's support for the 'DREAM Act,' which is short for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. It was reintroduced in Congress in ...


So many books and so little time to read. But I've just put Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town on my mental list of books to read, after skimming a review of it in The Washington Post over the weekend. Authored by New York Times reporter Warren St. John, the book tells about the lives of a dozen boys from war-torn countries living in Clarkston, Ga., who are formed into a soccer team by Luma Mufleh, an immigrant from Jordan. Mufleh, the coach, who was cut off from her father in Jordan, has nowhere to go back to, ...


Four of Philadelphia's 63 charter schools were established particularly to serve English-language learners, according to a blog post over at The Notebook, "an independent voice for parents, educators, students and friends of Philadelphia Public Schools." What's one way that a charter school (or any school, for that matter) can be friendly to families with ELLs? Invest in simultaneous translation equipment so parents can figure out what's going on at school events and meetings....


In today's oral arguments in Horne v. Flores, the long-running ELL case in Arizona, U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned what is sufficient academic progress for ELLs. Justice Antonin Scalia at one point asked: "Do you really think you haven't complied with adequate funding of ELL programs until you raise all of the ELL students up to the level of native-English speakers?" (Link to transcript is here.) It sounds a lot like a question that a lot of educators ask about the No Child Left Behind Act. Is it appropriate for the federal education law to require ELLs to meet ...


Nearly 60 percent of 1st- and 2nd-year medical students at Canada's University of British Columbia speak at least one language other than English at a moderate or advanced level, but many still say they don't feel proficient enough to use it with patients, according to a study published in the BC Medical Journal. The Vancouver Sun reported on the study yesterday (which I picked up from the TESOL in the News Blog). The authors of the study write: It is likely that students lack the basic medical terminology/vocabulary in their non-English languages and, as such, feel unqualified to communicate ...


Americans who perceive that immigrants who come to the United States these days are resistant to learning English and making new demands of schools to cultivate their native languages are wrong, argues a sociologist in the May 2009 issue of American Journal of Education. His article about immigrant trends is called: "What Have Immigrants Wanted from American Schools? What Do They Want Now? Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immigrants, Language, and American Schooling." (Only an abstract is available free online.) Michael R. Olneck, a professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, contends that Mexican-Americans and ...


One of the reasons that preschool attendance is low among Latinos in the United States is low-income neighborhoods have a scarcity of preschool slots, according to an article published yesterday in the Chicago Tribune. The article notes that funds from the federal stimulus package could help to alleviate the situation. The story doesn't mention a finding I came across in a research brief and blogged about a couple years ago: In Mexico, where preschool is free, low attendance in preschool isn't a problem....


Prolific blogger Larry Ferlazzo gives a nod to National Library Week by posting "the best sites to teach ELLs about libraries." I'm sure that Ferlazzo wouldn't disagree with me that one of the best ways to teach ELLs about libraries is to take them to a library. But these Web sites provide activities that could be used to set up the visit. I've noticed that Stephen D. Krashen, who is an expert on ELLs and a huge fan of libraries, consistently speaks up in public forums about the need for libraries in schools and communities to be well supported....


Alan Bersin, who was superintendent of San Diego City schools from 1998 to 2005, has been named by the Obama administration to lead the administration's policy on illegal immigration and drug-related violence near the U.S.-Mexican border, Politics K-12 reports. He's on the board of Democrats for Education Reform. He's also a former Secretary of Education for California. (Bersin is pictured here in a May 2006 Associated Press file photo taken by Rich Pedroncelli, during a state board of education meeting in Sacramento.) Here's the Los Angeles Times' take on the appointment. While we're on the topic of illegal ...


Judith Sloan, an artist and teacher, helps immigrant students from the International High School at LaGuardia Community College to shape their stories into a theater performance, The New York Times reports. And like a lot of arts programs, the project is in jeopardy because of a lack of funds....


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