Margo Gottlieb, the lead developer for the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment, or WIDA, consortium, will be answering questions about assessing English-language learners today in a chat. I'll be the moderator. Find more details here....


Superintendent Carol R. Johnson of Boston Public Schools announced today that she's chosen a new director of programs for English-language learners. The new director is Eileen de los Reyes, who served as a program director for the school system from 2002-05. She then led a team responsible for program and professional development for ELLs. She's also been a faculty member for the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Goddard College. (A source tells me the ELL director position had been open for months.) The press release says that Johnson has selected de los Reyes "to reform education of English-language learners ...


After nearly a decade of reporting about Flores v. Arizona, a long-running federal court case concerning funding for ELL programs in Arizona, I finally interviewed the Flores women who are plaintiffs in the case. I talked with Miriam Flores, the parent, a few weeks ago in Nogales, Ariz. I later interviewed her daughter, who has the same name and lives in Tucson, by telephone. They contend that programs for ELLs were deficient and underfunded during the years that the younger Miriam Flores attended schools in Nogales—and still are. The young Miriam is now 22 and a student at the ...


It's not easy these days to get insight into the Obama Administration's priorities for English-language learners. But maybe U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will fill us in a bit more during his press conference, scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern Time tomorrow at the Oyster-Adams Bilingual School here in the Washington area. The preK-8 school provides all instruction through dual language programs, in which students who are native speakers of English and students who are native speakers of Spanish learn both languages in the same classrooms. The school always has a waiting list for students who want to ...


English-language learners did increasingly worse academically in Boston Public Schools in the three years following passage of Question 2, according to an exhaustive study released this week on the impact of the ballot measure approved in 2002 that greatly curtailed transitional bilingual education in the state. An April 7 article in the Boston Globe summarizes the study. The dropout rate for ELLs in Boston high schools increased significantly from 2003 to 2006, the years examined by the study, and in some areas of achievement, ELLs lost ground in comparison with other students. The research was conducted by the Maurico Gaston ...


In an online commentary published today at edweek.org, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda argues that the United States would benefit financially with passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or "DREAM Act." Honda is a Democrat who is co-sponsoring the bill, which was reintroduced in Congress last month and would provide a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants who graduate from U.S. high schools and meet certain criteria. Honda contends that the U.S. is losing out on its investment in undocumented students in K-12 schooling by not enabling them to go on to ...


If you live in the Boston area, you might want to attend a forum, "Building Capacity to Serve English-Language Learners in U.S. Schools," on April 21. The rest of us can watch a video of the event, which is expected to be posted after that date on the Web site of The Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University. The forum is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will have four panelists, including Paul Reville, the Massachusetts secretary of education and a senior lecturer on education for Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and Nonie K. ...


Former Mexican President Vicente Fox proposed an interesting idea recently in a speech at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Fox said he hopes that some day Mexico, Canada, the United States, and the rest of Latin America will be able to function like the European Union, according to a story in the San Antonio Express-News. Since 54 percent of English-language learners who were born outside the United States come from Mexico, I think this would be an interesting concept for some teachers to bring up for discussion in their classes for ELLs. How exactly does the European Union ...


Just wanted to let you know that we'll have Margo Gottlieb, an expert on ELL testing and the lead developer for the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment consortium, as a guest for an online chat next week, "How to Assess English-Language Learners." The chat will take place on Thursday, April 9, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time. You don't need any special software to participate. You can sign up now for a reminder for the chat at the link above. I'll be moderating the chat and start taking questions for Gottlieb about a half hour before ...


Over the last eight years, with prodding from the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights, the Salt Lake City school district has stepped up training for teachers on how to work with English-language learners. A story published this week in the Salt Lake Tribune (which I picked up from This Week in Education) tells how Salt Lake City was one of 10 Utah districts that was investigated by the federal government for not giving adequate instruction to English-language learners. And earlier this month, it became the last of those districts to become free of federal scrutiny. The ...


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