Over at civilrights.org, a blogger quotes David Goldberg, the senior counsel and senior policy analyst at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, as saying that the stimulus package doesn't have any money for high school reform or English-language learners, which Goldberg calls "missed opportunities." Many English-language learners, however, would benefit from the billions allocated for Title I, the part of the No Child Left Behind Act for disadvantaged students. According to Quality Counts 2009, 66 percent of ELLs are from families that have an income below 200 percent of the poverty level, while that's the case with only 37 ...


"Foolishness" is the word that Eduflack uses to characterize Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne's proposal to reduce the funding for English-as-a-second-language programs in Arizona by $30 million for next school year. I mentioned Horne's proposal here. Update: Writers of an editorial in the Tucson Citizen say Horne should "cough up the data" to back his proposal....


I learned recently that Amherst Regional Public Schools in Massachusetts clusters its English-language learners in four different elementary schools according to the children's home language. In a blog post, Catherine A. Sanderson, a member of the school committee for that district, explained that one elementary school has a concentration of Spanish-speaking students, another of Chinese-speaking students, another of those who speak Khmer, and yet another of children who speak Korean. About 260 of the district's 4,000 students, by the way, are English-language learners. Here's an excerpt from Sanderson's blog: So, why do we cluster kids by language? This decision ...


The eighth installment of a series about a school year in the life of a 9-year-old named Bill Clinton Hadam didn't say one thing that this reader wanted to know: How did a Congolese boy who grew up in a refugee camp in Tanzania get that name? I had to turn to the fine print in "about this project" over at the Christian Science Monitor to learn that bit of information. But in a very captivating way, this week's "Who's failing—the student or the test?" installment of the series "Little Bill Clinton: A school year in the life of a...


If you live in Phoenix, you might want to drop by Senate Hearing Room 1 in the State Capitol at 2 p.m. tomorrow and hear Arizona Superintendent of Instruction Tom Horne explain how Arizona's program to teach English skills to English-language learners for a four-hour block each day can be implemented for about $9 million. This school year, the state spent $40 million on the program. I just got a press releasing saying he'll explain in his annual "state of education" speech why the program needs $30 million less of taxpayers' money for the 2009-10 school year. Some Arizona ...


At least one school district is cutting funds for family literacy centers and another is thinking about slashing English-as-a-second-language classes for parents. The Provo, Utah, school district has slashed $230,000 from schools with family literacy centers for English-language learners. Immigrant parents are pushing the school board of Fairfax County, Va., to preserve English classes that serve thousands of foreign-born adults. Even before the economic downturn, English classes for immigrant adults that are affordable had long waiting lists in many communities (including my own community of the greater Washington area). Those lists are likely to get longer as school district ...


I can't find references in "Grad Nation," a new comprehensive guide for communities on how to combat the dropout crisis, to English-language learners, but the guide does point out that the dropout rate is high among Hispanics, many of whom are ELLs. On average, the nation has a much lower graduation rate for ELLs than for all students, according to "Perspectives on a Population," a spin-off publication from Quality Counts 2009. The graduation rate reported by states for ELLs is 64 percent versus 80.1 percent for all students. And Russell W. Rumberger, the director of the California Dropout Research ...


Twenty-five years ago this week, Education Week published several stories about the rise of bilingual education in this country and how, even then, the educational method was running into political problems. The lead story was "Law and Policy in the Lau Era: The Emerging Politics of Language," which is not available online. The stories were part of a series on language policy and marked a decade since the U.S. Supreme Court had decided in Lau v. Nichols that the San Francisco school system was violating the civil rights of Chinese-speaking students by not helping them learn English. I learned ...


My colleague Debra Viadero writes in "Scholars See Comics as No Laughing Matter" in this week's Education Week that scholars are viewing comics as a promising subject for educational research. She reports that about 125 teachers, scholars, and artists attended the first academic conference on "Graphica in Education" about how comics can be used in the classroom. Since using visuals is one recommended strategy for language teachers, it's no surprise that over at EFL Classroom 2.0, David Deubelbeiss has written about how manga and comics are great tools for educators of English-language learners. He includes a folder of comics ...


Although 75 percent of English-language learners in the United States speak Spanish, bilingual education teachers tell me it can be hard to find high-quality classroom materials in Spanish. World Book Inc. is apparently trying to fill the void. The company, in partnership with Hispanica Saber, has created a comprehensive online encyclopedia in Spanish....


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