Because the number of Latino students has grown so much nationally and many are concentrated in cities, it's no surprise that all of the five school districts nominated to receive the 2009 Broad Prize for Urban Education have a significant number of Latino students. A few of the districts are being cited especially for their success with narrowing the achievement gap between Latinos and white students. (See press releases from districts here and here.) I'm curious if that means the districts also have been successful with ELLs. In a school district such as the Socorro Independent School District in Texas, ...


Suburban schools have become more diverse overall since the 1993-94 school year, according to a study released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center. But the exposure of the average white student in individual schools to other students who are of a different ethnic or racial background has increased only slightly. For example, the study found that the average white suburban student attended a school in which 75 percent of students were white in the 2006-07 school year; in the 1993-94 school year, the student body would have been 83 percent white on average. See the Associated Press story and USA ...


The Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund is calling for the Storm Lake school district in Iowa to remove any references to suspension or disciplinary action from the record of a student who refused to take an English-language proficiency test. See my previous post about the matter, "A Storm in Storm Lake." The press release says that honors student Lori Phanachone has been mislabeled as an English-language learner because she said on a home-language survey that she speaks Lao. (Federal law requires school districts to test students who speak a language other than English at home in English proficiency upon ...


For a comprehensive update on where states stand in giving or denying access to undocumented students to college, read a research paper on the issue by Michael A. Olivas, a law professor at the University of Houston, posted over at ImmigrationProf Blog. Olivas says that 10 states now have statutes that permit undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates for public colleges and universities in those states. They are California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Olivas says that access to higher education for undocumented students, which includes availability of financial aid and in-state ...


The Obama administration has filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Horne v. Arizona that backs parents of the Nogales Unified School District who want Arizona to provide more funding for ELL programs. See Mark Walsh's post over at the School Law Blog. The case is scheduled for oral argument on April 20. I visited Nogales for two days last week, and I am writing a story for Education Week about the current status of ELL programs in that school district....


For the fourth time this school year, the ELLIS Preparatory Academy in the Bronx, a high school for English-language learners who arrive in the United States as teenagers, is being featured by a news organization. The BBC published an article about the high school, which opened this school year and has 85 students, over the weekend. (Hat tip to GothamSchools.) The school enrolls a lot of students who are categorized as "Students with Interrupted Formal Education," or SIFE. (I last wrote about SIFE students in New York City in February). I visited the ELLIS Preparatory Academy in the fall, while ...


Over the last year, more than 130 teachers received national-board certification in a category called teaching "English as a New Language," according to a press release from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. That brings the number of teachers in this country with that credential to more than 900. You can learn more about what the certification entails here and here. A study published by the National Research Council last June concluded that teachers with certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards are more effective than teachers without the credential, but it also said that there isn't ...


The April issue of Educational Leadership has tapped experts on English-language learners from across the country to discuss best practices for educating these students. I commend the editors of the issue for publishing a couple of articles devoted to best practices for teaching adolescent ELLs, including long-term ELLs. Many high schools are struggling with how to help such students acquire content and English at the same time. Readers, are any of you in middle or high schools that are using what is called the "ELL cluster model?" I've seen classes with some elements of this model at Luther Burbank High ...


The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or "DREAM Act," which would provide a path to legalization in this country for undocumented students who attend college or join the military, was reintroduced this week in Congress (hat tip to ImmigrationProf Blog). Proponents of the act include the National Council of La Raza. See a press release on the legislation from the National Immigration Law Center posted at change.org. It's amazing to me that some of these undocumented students who graduated from U.S. high schools are attending Ivy League schools or are in graduate school. But it's ...


I'm reading with interest news reports on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Mexico and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's decision to increase the number of agents on the U.S.-Mexican border. For a while now, I've been hearing that members of drug cartels are shooting people right and left in Mexican border towns. But I've heard that the terror happens mostly at night. So, just last weekend, I parked a rental car and walked across the U.S.-Mexican border at Nogales, Ariz., to have lunch and browse in the markets in ...


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