In a June 18 press release, the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center accuses lawmakers of trying to " 'deport their way out' of a dysfunctional immigration system that has fueled a growing undocumented population." (Hat tip to ImmigrationProf Blog.) The press release gives an update on three youths whose education plans for the future have been interrupted because of their illegal status in the United States. See earlier posts, "Boy Scout to Be Deported," and "Valedictorian of California High School to Be Deported." I have a depressing thought that I may need to start a not-very-occasional feature within this blog called Youth ...


Northfield School District in Minnesota is one more school district deciding to have English-as-a-second-language teachers work with English-learners in their regular classes rather than pulling them out of class for specialized instruction, according to a June 18 article in the community's local newspaper, Northfield News. (Hat tip to TESOL in the News.) Gary Lewis, the school district's director of student services, pitched a plan to the Northfield school board to improve services to the district's 278 ELLs after the district went into "program improvement" under the No Child Left Behind Act. It had failed to make adequate yearly progress for ...


I'll pass on to you some tidbits of news about the money behind an initiative set to be put on the Oregon ballot in November that would limit English-as-a-second-language classes or native-language instruction for English-learners to two years. See my earlier post on the initiative. Erik Sorensen, a spokesman for Causa, an Oregon immigrant-rights group opposed to the initiative, sent some links to help me find this information. Causa is calling the ballot initiative an "anti-ESL instruction initiative." The Statesman Journal, published in Salem, Ore., has characterized it as "an initiative to end bilingual education." The terminology used in the ...


Though advocates of bilingual education still groan when they hear his name, it's been several years since Ron K. Unz, a California businessman, stepped away from the national debate on how best to educate English-language learners. Before Mr. Unz's withdrawal, he financed campaigns that succeeded in getting voters in Arizona, California, and Massachusetts to approve ballot initiatives to curtail bilingual education in those states. He financed a similar campaign in Colorado as well, but lost that one. Now supporters of an initiative to curtail bilingual education in Oregon have succeeded in gathering enough signatures to have it put on the ...


In California, most English-language learners are reclassified as fluent in the language in 4th through 6th grades, with another large group reclassified in 8th and 9th grades, according to a paper about California reclassification rates released this week by the Lexington Institute, a conservative think tank in Arlington, Va. The paper, "The Education of Jaime Capellan: English Learner Success in California Schools," synthesizes information from various reports about the progress of California ELLs in learning English. You may have noticed that the Lexington Institute keeps a close watch on reclassification rates of ELLs in California. In May 2007, the institute ...


Elise Martins, a teacher from Postville, Iowa, didn't expect her personal account of the immigration raid in her community on May 12 to spread widely over the Internet, according to ImmigrationProf Blog. But her account is so vivid, and points to what other educators in this country could face during immigration raids in their communities, that I can't help but spread the account farther. At the time of the raid, the teacher was with a group of students in the community on a field trip. Here's an excerpt about the instructions she received on how to proceed: I am told ...


State education officials received an e-mail message from the U.S. Department of Education last week announcing that the administration of Title III—the main conduit for the funding of ELL programs under the No Child Left Behind Act—will soon be carried out by the same office that administers Title I. Title III has been handled by the office of English-language acquisition, while Title I, which provides funds for disadvantaged students and also contains some provisions applying specifically to English-language learners, is administered by the office of elementary and secondary education. Richard L. Smith, the acting director of the office...


North Carolina has become the 18th state to adopt an English-language-proficiency test for English-learners developed by the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment, or WIDA, consortium. Yet another state has also joined the WIDA consortium and thus adopted the test, but Timothy Boals, the executive director of WIDA, is not yet announcing which state that is. Given the independence of states on education matters, it's quite remarkable that 19 states will soon be using the same test for English proficiency. While I respect the rights of states to choose their own test, it sure would make it easier to understand and ...


New Jersey recently began providing some state tests for English-language learners in Spanish, and thus joined a dozen states that provide versions of their state tests in languages other than English. In addition, Washington state has set a tentative goal of translating state tests into 10 languages by 2009. The 2008 Washington state legislature has approved $1.7 million for translating state tests and expanding forms designed for special education students. This year state officials conducted a pilot study on the use of test translations. I got this information about New Jersey and Washington from communications staff for departments of ...


I've seen news accounts recently that a teacher, a high school valedictorian, and a Boy Scout were all expecting to be deported this summer—as they'd exhausted legal options to stay in this country. A June 10 story in the Loudoun Times-Mirror about the Boy Scout answers some of the lingering questions I've had since visiting an immigration detention center in Miami about what happens to some of the unaccompanied minors who get picked up by federal immigration authorities, held in detention, and then released to their parents in the United States. In this case, the boy who crossed the ...


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