Word has it that today, Sept. 2, Kenneth Starr will file a writ of certiorari that asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review Flores v. Arizona, a long-running case about English-language learners in Arizona. Arizona officials hired Mr. Starr, the former Independent Counsel on the Whitewater matter, in July. It will be his job to try to get the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the state officials' arguments that Arizona is in compliance with federal laws in how it pays for the education of English-language learners. Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne told me in an interview ...


There's a good reason why a couple of Korean-American organizations have put out a guide to K-12 and post-secondary education in California for Asian immigrants: a rather large number of Asian immigrants are undocumented. The guide spells out what opportunities undocumented immigrants have for an education in this country. As most readers of this blog probably know, they are entitled to a free education in grades K-12, but whether they have the opportunity to go to college depends on their financial resources and whether their states have policies that permit them to enroll. Here are some statistics cited in the ...


Sharp Brains posted today the 186th edition of the Carnival of Education. The Q&A format is very readable. Let me note that Sharp Brains incorrectly quotes my blog item about graduation rates for ELLs in New York City in saying that 45.5 percent of ELLs are newcomers. In fact, the blog entry says it's 45.5 percent of ELLs in grades 8-12 who are newcomers. (Aug. 28 Update: Sharp Brains has now corrected this.) But I have asked the city's Department of Education to provide the data for K-7 ELL students as well so we have a fuller ...


At least one educator, Ted Hirsch, thinks New York City's new $2.4 million, three-year early literacy program could really help English-language learners. Mr. Hirsch, the principal for K-6 students at South Shore Charter School in Norwell, Mass., made this claim in an interview with a television station after the program was announced this week by Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. The reading program was created by the Core Knowledge Foundation and is being implemented in 10 high-needs schools, according to an Aug. 26 New York Times article. The founder of the Core Knowledge Foundation is E.D. Hirsch Jr., ...


A 10-year study by professors at Harvard University and City of University of New York shows that most of the second-generation immigrants to that city are fluent in English and working in the mainstream economy, according to a description of its findings at National Public Radio. The authors of the study, Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age, found the following differences between groups, the NPR summary says: When they looked at economic and educational achievement, [the researchers] found that West Indians were doing better, in general, than African-Americans; Dominicans were doing better than Puerto Ricans; and ...


In case there was ever any question, a Pew Hispanic Center report released today confirms that some states are more likely than others to receive Hispanic students who have been born outside of the United States rather than on U.S. soil. This has implications for schools because the Pew report on demographics of Hispanic students also shows that U.S.-born Hispanic students are much more likely to report they speak English "very well" than are foreign-born Hispanic students. Thus the schools receiving Hispanics born in other countries have a larger English-language gap to fill to help them catch ...


A blog reader points out that I can add Elgin Area School District to my list of large school systems or states that have come under fire this summer for how they serve English-language learners. This month a federal judge granted class-action status to a racial bias lawsuit filed in February 2005 against Elgin Area School District U-46, which is Illinois' second-largest school system and is located in a Chicago suburb, according to the Daily Herald. (Click here for the Chicago Tribune's coverage.) An article published on Aug. 21 gives details about how, along with making complaints that Hispanics and ...


Eduwonkette has been having a field day blogging about graduation rate data in the Big Apple. But she hasn't yet delved into why the city's graduation rate for ELLs is so low. The four-year graduation rate for ELLs is 23.5 percent, compared with 55.8 percent for all students. For the 2007-08 school year, New York City public schools enrolled 138,500 ELLs. I took a tip from eduwonkette (update: she revealed her true identity yesterday) and asked for some additional data from the New York City Department of Education that might indicate whether the city's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, ...


Remember the media circus surrounding Lewiston, Maine, where in 2002, then-Mayor Larry Raymond sent a letter asking Somalis to stop moving to the town because it didn't have a social service infrastructure that could adequately meet their needs? An article in the September American School Board Journal brings us up to date with how educators in Lewiston public schools worked before and after that infamous letter to help Somalis integrate into the community. Today, Lewiston has nearly 3,500 Somalis among its 36,000 residents. At one elementary school featured in the article, the Somalis receive math and English in ...


For the first time, a federal education law requires colleges and universities to do SOMETHING in regard to preparing teachers to work with English-language learners. The bill, signed into law on Aug. 14 by President Bush, requires colleges and universities to set annual goals for increasing the number of teachers for instruction of ELLs and other areas where there are teacher shortages. Here's what the new higher education law (search for the enrolled version of H.R. 4137 on Thomas) says under Title II, Section 206: Each institution of higher education that conducts a traditional teacher preparation program (including programs ...


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