Pennsylvania is requiring all its teacher-preparation programs to provide teacher-candidates with three credit hours of training in how to work with English-language learners and nine credit hours in how to work with special education students. The regulation was approved in June. By Jan. 1, 2011, all colleges and universities in Pennsylvania must meet the mandate, according to Leah M. Harris, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania education department. "We looked at the makeup of our students and classroom instruction, and it was very evident that teachers don’t just deal with students that some people would say are regular students in ...


Read The School Law Blog, written by Mark Walsh, for a preview of the arguments that are likely to be made in Horne v. Flores in the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, April 20....


A Boston Globe editorial follows up on a report that shows that the approach of Boston Public Schools to teaching English-language learners is widening the achievement gap at all levels between such students and native speakers of English. The dropout rate for ELLs also dramatically increased from 2003 to 2006. The editorial suggests that Boston educators should take a field trip to some smaller school districts in the state that were featured in a 2007 Rennie Center report as implementing "best practices" for ELLs. Margaret Adams, who is a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Association of ...


Bill Evers, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, has critiqued on his blog the article I wrote about a long-running ELL case, Flores v. Arizona, published in Education Week last week and concludes I used "biased journalistic judgment" in my writing of the article. I beg to differ. But I've always found "letters to the editor" instructive, so I treated his blog entry as such and read it carefully. When I cover this legal battle in the future—specifically when it is taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court next week on April 20 and when a ruling...


Friday was Peter Zamora's last day as the Washington regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Zamora sent me a brief e-mail saying he's accepted a job as the senior education counsel for U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, a Democrat from New Mexico. I mention Zamora's job change on this blog because he has been one of the most prominent voices among nonprofit advocacy organizations speaking about English-language learners at various education meetings in the nation's capital. On behalf of MALDEF, he has supported the No Child Left Behind law's current requirements (and U.S. Department ...


Nik Peachy has published online the latest edition of the blog carnival for teaching English-language learners. One of the sites he selected that relates the most to the education of ELLs in primary and secondary schools in the United States (the subject of this blog) is a post, "The Best Sites for K-12 Intermediate English-Language Learners," by Larry Ferlazzo, who founded this particular carnival. Lindsay Clandfield also has an interesting post, "Six computer games to use in an English-language classroom." Peachy includes in his edition of the language-learning carnival criteria for what makes for a good blog post: informative, complete, ...


The National High School Center in Washington will host a Webinar on research-based methods for educating ELLs in high school. A school principal and two researchers will talk about "best practices" for educating ELLs and how these practices can be supported by policies at the district, state, and national levels. The event will be held on Thursday, May 14, from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Click here for more details. While the question of how to improve high schools for ELLs is getting more attention in education circles (see this earlier post of mine), I ...


WestEd is sponsoring several free webinars about the education goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. One of them will feature members of the English Language Learner Working Group, a group of researchers who have made recommendations for how states and school districts can use federal stimulus funds to improve schooling for ELLs. That webinar will take place on Tuesday, May 26, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Pacific Time. For more details, scroll down to the last event publicized here. Federal education officials have included one example of how to use stimulus funds for ELLs in a ...


I received more questions and comments for today's chat with Margo Gottlieb about assessing ELLs than I could use during the hourlong event. (Find a transcript of the chat here.) Gottlieb told me that if anyone feels his or her voice wasn't heard or topic wasn't addressed, she's willing to respond to questions by e-mail at [email protected] One topic that was really hot on the chat was how to tell whether an English-language learner has a learning disability. If you'd like to weigh in on this or add to the chat discussion in some way, please use the ...


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan focused on early childhood education, not the needs of English-language learners, while visiting the Oyster-Adams Bilingual School yesterday, according to my colleague Christina Samuels, who reported on the press conference there. Samuels told me this morning she can't recall that he made any mention of ELLs. That's despite the fact he was visiting a school that gives instruction in both English and Spanish to all students, including many ELLs. He could have worked ELLs into the conversation in a number of ways, but didn't. I'm puzzled why the Obama administration seems to be ...


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