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 ...


Arizona papers have reported recently on state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne's claims that the state's new method of educating English-language learners is working (here and here.) The state is enforcing a mandate this school year that ELLs must be taught in separate classes for four hours a day to learn specific English skills, such as vocabulary and grammar. I reported and wrote a story about the new approach, "Arizona Still Grappling With Balance on Mandated ELL Instruction," for this week's Education Week. I didn't, however, report on Mr. Horne's press release because I received it as my story ...


While I try to place some calls to Republican Party leaders and see if I can find out what they mean when their party platform advocates an "English First approach" for schools, let me leave you to ponder these two very different opinions about what role English should have in this country. First, I excerpt a comment posted on this blog this morning by Juan D. Garcia, an educator in a K-12 school system in California: If "ALL English" were the solution, we [educators] would have succeeded long ago. Most "minority" students for the past 60 years have always been ...


The education scene for English-language learners in Arizona looks a whole lot different than it did in 1992, when a lawsuit about such students, Flores v. Arizona, was filed in a U.S. District Court in that state. For instance, the state now complies with accountability requirements for the education of ELLs under the federal No Child Left Behind Act that didn't even exist back then. And it has increased its spending on programs for such students. But the district court has been rigid in sticking by an eight-year-old ruling that the state doesn't provide adequate funds for ELLs. What's ...


The platform for the Republican National Convention, which opened this week in St. Paul, Minn., considers English to be the "official language" of this country. But apparently an earlier draft of the platform used softer language, stating that English is the "common" and "accepted" language, according to a Fox News reporter (hat tip to Latina Lista). The Fox News reporter says delegates from North Carolina and Colorado wanted the stronger language. Here's what the platform says about language policy in this country: One sign of our unity is our English language. For newcomers, it has always been the fastest route ...


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., ...


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