A winter cold kept me from participating in the Webinar yesterday for Quality Counts 2009, "Portrait of a Population: How English-Language Learners Are Putting Schools to the Test." But there's still one more chat to go that corresponds with the release of the report. I'll be moderating that chat. Tomorrow, a state legislator, an administrator of ELL programs for a large urban school district, and an expert on state ELL policy will be answering questions about how school districts and states can best serve English-language learners. The chat will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, ...


Two organizations are offering opportunities for you to get the word out about what you are doing to support English-language learners or immigrants. ASCD Express is seeking short, 600-1,000-word essays on the theme, "Supporting English-language learners," according to the ASCD Community Blog. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 19, a week away from today. The Migration Policy Institute is taking applications for E Pluribus Unum Prizes, which recognize "exceptional immigrant integration initiatives." The deadline to apply is Jan. 31....


I've been promoting Quality Counts 2009, "Portrait of a Population: How English-Language Learners Are Putting Schools to the Test," on this blog any chance I get because I'm so pleased that a whole team of people here at Education Week took up the task of exploring the characteristics and education needs of English-language learners. Usually, it's primarily my job here at the newspaper to report on these students. I want to make sure readers of this blog know that besides publishing a great deal of information about state policies concerning ELLs in the hard copy of the report, the Editorial ...


Kenneth W. Starr may soon be back in the national limelight because the U.S. Supreme Court has decided it will review the long-running federal case, Flores v. Arizona. Mr. Starr, the former Independent Counsel in the Whitewater scandal, is a lawyer defending Arizona legislators in that case. See my blog post, "Kenneth Starr Steps into the World of ELLs." My colleague Mark Walsh writes in a story published today at edweek.org about the U.S. Supreme's Court decision to hear the case, which involves whether the education of English-language learners in Arizona is being adequately funded by the ...


This week, during a panel that I moderated for the release of Quality Counts 2009, Kris Gutierrez, a professor of social research methodology at the University of California at Los Angeles, said the nation should have a common definition for English-language learners. Ms. Gutierrez, by the way, is a member of the working group for education of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, though as a panelist she was articulating only her own personal views, not those of the transition team. She proposed this seemingly simple—but actually not so simple—idea in answer to a question of how the No Child...


I've been busy chatting. Here's the transcript from today's chat about Quality Counts 2009, "Portrait of a Population: How English-Language Learners Are Putting Schools to the Test." Education Week and the EPE Research Center have scheduled two more live online events to correspond with the publication of the report, including a Webinar on Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and a chat about the future of the education of ELLs to be held Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. The chat features Maria Santos, who oversees programs for ELLs in New York City; Ellen Forte, president of ...


The Birmingham News reports in a Jan. 4 article, "Alabama's two-year colleges are asking for identification to curb admission to illegal immigrants," that a policy approved in September to bar undocumented students from community colleges goes into effect for classes starting this month....


Quality Counts 2009, entitled "Portrait of a Population: How English-Language Learners Are Putting Schools to the Test," was released today. The report contains new data that can be used to inform policy debates, such as that states estimate that more than 56,000 new English-as-a-second-language teachers will be needed in the next five years and that only 11 states provide incentives for teachers to receive an endorsement in ESL. In a quick search, I pulled up articles about the report in the following newspapers: The Arizona Republic, Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, Providence Journal, and the Courier Post. Update: Other articles ...


The need for English-language learners to learn "academic English"—the language of the school, rather than merely the social English they might use on the playground or in the cafeteria— has been a hot topic for several years among educators of this group of students. But I keep hearing, and seeing on my visits to classrooms, that educators are struggling with how exactly to teach academic English. The U.S. Department of Education has commissioned a review of research studies about the use of academic English at the secondary school level. The study was announced, along with two other studies...


LEARN NC, a program of the school of education of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has posted some articles about how educators can tailor educational programs to better include students with Mexican roots. The latest, "The Middle School Challenge for English Language Learners of Mexican Origin," mentions a program in Los Angeles, Achievement for Latinos Through Academic Success, that helps parents to better monitor their children's progress in school and navigate U.S. schools. The article explains the difference between social and academic language, but doesn't provide much help on how to teach academic language. It's worth ...


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