In making five recommendations on how to improve education for Latinos, Melissa Lazarin of the Center for American Progress, points out that 45 percent of the nation's Latino students are English-language learners. She recommends that the federal government figure out how to speed up the development of appropriate assessments for such students. Another of Ms. Lazarin's recommendations, "pass the DREAM Act," seems to come out of her advocacy for that act while she worked for the National Council of La Raza. That's the act that would provide a path to legalization for undocumented students who are high school graduates in ...


A school district in California and another in Pennsylvania take different approaches to using federal grant money to strengthen education for preschool English-language leaners, according to two articles posted at TESOL in the News. "South County Parents Embrace Bi-Literate Education" tells about a two-way immersion program for preschoolers in Lake Forest, Calif. The article said it's the third and final year for the program, but doesn't explain why it's the final year. "SDL: Big Grant to Aid Pre-School ESL Students" reports that public schools in Lancaster, Penn., will improve English-as-a-second-language services at the preschool level by hiring a preschool teacher ...


Chicago Public Radio reports that scores on standardized tests for elementary school students in Chicago Public Schools rose 1 percent over the last year even though Illinois was forced to stop using its test tailored especially for English-language learners. If ELL scores are taken out of the mix, scores for elementary school students rose 4 percent this year over the previous one. Last fall, the federal government required Illinois to stop using the Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English, or IMAGE, which was given to some ELLs, because state officials couldn't show it was comparable to the regular state ...


The release this month of a description of Filipino immigrants in the United States by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute is a reminder that the institute has some great backgrounders on immigrant groups. This portrait of a group of people may be particularly useful if you're an educator in California because almost half of the Filipino immigrants who come to this country live in that state. It was news to me that Filipino women living in the United States outnumber Filipino men by about three to two. Filipino women tend to work in health-care or related occupations. Nearly half of ...


Roger Prosise, the superintendent of the Diamond Lake School District 76 in Mundelein, Ill., makes a compelling case for why Illinois shouldn't mandate bilingual education in schools. And he doesn't give the reasons that are usually given. He writes in a paper released by the Lexington Institute, a conservative think tank that generally opposes bilingual education, that "bilingual education did not work in District 76." Mr. Prosise says the method didn't work because of a shortage of bilingual classroom teachers, a lack of good bilingual reading teachers, and a lack of high-quality bilingual instructional curriculum materials. For four years District ...


For years, many state education agencies have been telling educators they can't ask students about their immigration status because the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court case, Plyler v. Doe, gives all children the right to a free K-12 education in this country regardless of their immigration status. School officials can ask parents or students for proof of residency in a school district but not for a Social Security number. Still, some school staff and educators flub up on this and ask for immigration information when parents try to register their children for school. See my Education Week article from April ...


U.S. Rep. Mike Castle, a Republican from Delaware, asked a question at a congressional hearing on Indian Education yesterday that I was dying to ask: Is English as a second language an issue in education of American Indian students today? Stanley R. Holder, the chief of the division of performance and accountability for the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Education, responded with a plug for the maintenance and revitalization of indigenous languages. (See edweek.org's selection of articles about language revitalization). He explained what he's learned through the implementation of the federal Reading First program in ...


I'm making good on my promise to skim a review copy of Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age and tell you what it says about schooling in New York City. I've featured the study already for how it concludes that children of immigrants in New York City now in their 20s are generally doing very well work-wise and education-wise. The book has a fascinating chapter reporting on how some immigrant groups tend to figure out how to enroll children in magnet schools and other top-of-the-line public schools in New York City while other immigrant groups do ...


The Ladies Professional Golf Association has backtracked on its policy that it would suspend golfers in the LPGA Tour who can't speak English well enough to be understood in interviews and making acceptance speeches, according to a Sept. 6 article posted at globeandmail.com (and another article published the same day in the Los Angeles Times). The tour commissioner says the policy will be revised by the end of the year. Fines for players unable to speak English could still be an option, however. (ImmigrationProf blog was on top of this before me.) Critics viewed the policy as discriminatory against ...


In a commentary published Friday at edweek.org, Joanne Jacobs, an education writer and blogger, draws attention to how long-term English-language learners can end up being shut out of a challenging curriculum. If he’s not reclassified by middle school, José may sit through the same English-language-development classes he took in elementary school, classes designed for newcomers. He may leave the mainstream to take classes taught in simplified English. Expectations are low. Performance is lower. The dropout rate is astronomical for long-term English-learners, sometimes known as “lifers.” There's that word "lifers," again, which I really hate to hear anyone use ...


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