The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the case of Flores v. Arizona in April. The lawsuit was filed in 1992 and concerns whether Arizona adequately funds the education of English-language learners. In the meantime, the Arizona Republic continues to print opinions on the case, including that of Tom Horne, the Arizona superintendent of public instruction, who is one of the parties who asked the nation's highest court to take up the case. For columnist E.J. Montini's take on the lawsuit, read "Kids Still Losers in English-Learner Suit," published Jan. 15. For Mr. Horne's response ...


Morry Bamba is one of New York City's "students with interrupted formal education," or SIFE. He attended school for the first time when he arrived in New York City from the West African nation of Guinea at age 15. He's now a student at the English Language Learners and International Support Preparatory Academy, or ELLIS Academy, in the Bronx, which enrolls immigrant students who have arrived in the United States as teenagers. Like many SIFE students, Morry struggles with reading. He is one of the students who was interviewed in an article about SIFE students, "In School for the First ...


The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education has investigated whether New York City's new small high schools have discriminated against English-language learners or students with disabilities by excluding them from admission during the first three years of each school's existence. The office has determined that the schools have NOT excluded these students, and thus haven't discriminated against them. See my colleague Christina Samuels' August 2007 article about the issue, "Small Schools in N.Y.C. Pressed on Spec. Ed." eduwonk provided a link today to OCR's Jan. 15 letter, which includes data to back up ...


Before voters in the city of Nashville rejected a proposal to make English the official language of government in that city, a Nashville physician wrote an opinion piece about what it might feel like to be a child translator for health matters. In "Children Often Caught in Translating Nightmares," published Jan. 20 in the Tennessean, Dr. Gregory Plemmons, the medical director of Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, argued against the English-only proposal because he thought it would make it more likely that immigrant children would end up translating for family members at clinics and hospitals. (hat tip to Colorin colorado.) ...


Only 29 states translate their parent guides about tests into a language other than English, according to an analysis by Second Language Testing, Inc., a company that both develops and translates tests to serve English-language learners. The company reports its findings from an analysis of states' parent test guides in the January edition of its newsletter. The guides typically explain state academic standards and tests to parents and give them advice about how they can support their children. They often include information for interpreting score reports as well, according to the newsletter. The authors of the newsletter contend that "if ...


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...


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