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 ...


The Baltimore Sun has published an investigative series of articles and videos about the conditions for Iraqi refugees in Syria, Jordan, and the United States. (Hat tip to ImmigrationProf Blog.) By some estimates, according to the article, four out of five of the Iraqi refugee children living in Jordan and Syria are still not attending school. See my reporting on this issue in "The Lost Years," published by Education Week in March. Here's an excerpt from a Dec. 28 article, "No Place to Go," in the series that reports on Iraqi refugees living in a suburb of Damascus, Syria: The ...


Right now, the Florida Department of Education is a big player in that state's debate over how much training is necessary for reading teachers to effectively teach English-language learners. The department is proposing a reduction in the number of hours of training required for reading teachers in how to work with ELLs, saying that the high bar makes it hard for schools to find such teachers, according to a Dec. 26 article in the Miami Herald. Here's where the matter stands: Current rules require teachers who educate students learning English to have 300 hours of training. Educators who teach reading ...


The education review team for President-elect Barack Obama has forwarded to the transition team names of several people who have been recommended by civil rights or education groups to be appointees in the new administration, according to a Dec. 24 article in Diverse magazine. Those who have been recommended are Kris Gutierrez, a professor of social research methodology at the University of California at Los Angeles; Elena Izquierdo, an associate professor of teacher education at the University of Texas at El Paso; and Maria Santos, the superintendent for the New York City Department of Education's office of English-language learners. Interestingly, ...


My reporting has been heavy on serious news and light on innovations for teaching ELLs in the last year. In 2009, I hope that innovations will abound and that I'll be able to draw your attention to them. (Otherwise I might have to strike the promise to report "innovations" from the description of Learning the Language.) The year brought some significant news about ELLs, as I reported in these Education Week stories. —It's No Secret: Progress Prized in Brownsville. A school district in which 42 percent of students are ELLs won the Broad Prize for Urban Education. —Education Officials...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments