For Inauguration Day, a class of ELL students at Pearl Lean Elementary School in Warren, Mich., who are mostly newcomers from Iraq, learned how to sing "Hail to the Chief" and say the words to the U.S. presidential oath of office. See the video from a local news station that features them singing and reciting here. "I hope they can feel like they are kind of like a community—that they are really part of America now," says Barbara Gottschalk, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at the school, in the news video....


Over at Curriculum Matters, my colleague Sean Cavanagh reports that public hearings have been scheduled for Jan. 30 and Feb. 4 to discuss how ELLs and students with disabilities are tested on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. The first hearing will be in El Paso, Texas. The second will be held in Washington, D.C....


Some of my colleagues will be reporting on the inauguration so look for updates at edweek.org. I, however, will simply be mixing with the crowds, not reporting. Look for posts on this blog once again on Jan. 21. In the meantime, Larry Ferlazzo has risen to the occasion and put together a list of "The Best Sites for Learning About the Presidential Inauguration" that are accessible to English-language learners. As the big day has approached, he has added more sites to the list....


Periodically school districts consider barring the use of Spanish among Spanish-speaking students in a school and usually an advocacy or civil rights group in the community intervenes and the ban is never imposed, or is lifted. But here's a new twist on an old issue. In the Dearborn, Mich., community, The Detroit News reported this week, educators are debating what's the appropriate use of Arabic in the school district, after a study commissioned by a county education service agency said the use of Arabic by bilingual students in the district is slowing their assimilation into American society. (Update: A follow-up ...


Here are some nuggets I took away from "The Future of ELL Education" online chat that I moderated at edweek.org yesterday. Click here for the full chat transcript. Question: "Considering that ELLs are not new to the history of our country, and are probably not proportionally greater than in other times in our history—do you think it is wise, in the long run, to forfeit the wider curriculum to concentrate on reading? I am worried that we are committing cultural suicide." --Linda Johanssen, 3rd grade teacher, Los Angeles Answer: "Even though ELLs are not new to the history...


The Norwalk, Conn., school district is forming a parent group to advise the district in how to improve programs for English-language learners, according to an article published this week in The Advocate. (I picked it up from TESOL in the News Blog.) From what I've seen in schools, formally seeking parental advice on how to make programs more effective for ELLs is really unusual. Readers, I invite you to prove my observation wrong. Does your school district have a parent advisory committee for ELL programs, and how has it worked out?...


Submit questions to the panelists for the chat hosted by edweek.org here....


The Rural School and Community Trust is hosting a Webinar that will focus on best practices for serving English-language learners in rural places. It's scheduled for Jan. 28 at 2 p.m Eastern Standard Time, and you can register for it here. The presentation and discussion will be led by Francisco Guajardo, a board member and vice chairman for the Rural Trust, and Jennifer Joy Esquierdo. Both are assistant professors in education at the University of Texas—Pan American.The webinar is free for members, but costs $45 for anyone else. I draw your attention to this Webinar because I haven't...


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....


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