Federal officials have told North Carolina officials that it's up to states to decide if they want to enroll undocumented students in public colleges and universities, according to the Associated Press. That message paves the way for North Carolina's community college system to reverse a policy announced in May that barred undocumented students from community colleges. The article doesn't say, though, if this is the step the system will take. (July 29 update: The policy will be reviewed at a Aug. 15 meeting, according to an AP article posted here.) The North Carolina Attorney General's office said in a letter ...


New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Rep. Michael M. Honda, a fellow Democrat from California, announced yesterday they were introducing a bill in Congress intended to boost opportunities for immigrants to learn English. The bill contains a couple of provisions that could benefit school-age English-language learners. It increases funding for the U.S. Department of Education's Even Start Family Literacy program, for instance, and proposes a $1,500 tax credit for teachers of English-language learners (I surmise this means specialists, not any mainstream teacher who has a few ELLs in her class) and a deduction for certification. ...


I've been intending to report the story for several years, but only this summer I finally wrote an article about how many school districts now offer summer classes for English-language learners to help them prevent "summer slide" in their English skills. My article, "Summer Classes a Draw for English-Learners," based on a visit to summer English-as-a-second-language classes at Loudoun County, Va., schools, was published yesterday at edweek.org. It turns out that a lot of other newspaper reporters had the same idea this summer to visit and write about ESL classes. Here's a round-up of such stories, which will permit ...


While I'm physically back in the office, I have on my mind the memory from vacation of spotting a common loon, a bird that many consider to be the symbol of the wilderness, swimming close to her newborn chick. The loon is a striking bird that is mostly black but has white markings around the neck and white squarish spots on its back. Loons often make human-like laughing sounds. The mother with the chick, however, was calling out with a sound that resembled the low moo of a cow, warning all creatures to stay away from her offspring. I'd previously ...


News reports keep trickling in about school districts that are moving toward having English-as-a-second-language teachers work with English-language learners in mainstream classrooms, often called "push-in ESL," rather than pulling students out of class for special help. The Evansville Vanderburgh school district in Indiana put in place last school year the push-in model at three elementary schools, according to a July 20 article published in the Evansville Courier & Press (I picked this up from Colorin colorado). An Indiana professor is quoted as saying that pulling English-language learners out of class is "the least effective" model for helping them. But I've found ...


In Appalachia, a lot of school districts have enrolled English-language learners in the past ten years that had no experience with such students, according to a report about ELLs in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia that was just released by the Institute of Education Sciences. Many of those districts initially have taken a piecemeal approach to providing help for such students. They struggle to hire people with language skills to communicate with parents and to find educators who have training in how to work with ELLs, for example. The report, "Preparing to Serve English Language Learner Students: School Districts ...


This time, I'm headed for the Adirondack Mountains. I'll be back in the office and blogging again on July 22....


It's not just liberals who believe that undocumented immigrants should have access to college in this country. The Education Gadfly, a news bulletin put out by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, says this week: "Concern about America's out-of-control borders is not ill-founded, of course, but it's difficult to envision a more punitive and ineffective solution to the problem than the one South Carolina has embraced." If you'll recall, South Carolina has enacted a law barring undocumented students from its colleges and universities....


The message of 63-year-old Joel Gomez, an associate professor of educational leadership at George Washington University, had an emotional quality to it that stood out from other presentations by Washington pundits who spoke yesterday at a session on high school reform at the annual convention of the League of United Latin American Citizens. I was there the day after the U.S. presidential contenders spoke at the meeting and the special table for the press near the registration desk had been removed. (Find Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank's take on the candidates' speeches here.) Mr. Gomez relayed how when he ...


Ruben Navarrette, an editorial writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, writes about how it's a recurring pattern in this country that some Americans periodically appoint themselves as language police and push for shortsighted policies. He touches on the controversy sparked by school officials in Terrebonne Parish, La., who started thinking of requiring commencement speeches to be only in English after Cindy and Hue Vo, co-valedictorians at Ellender High School, spoke a few sentences of Vietnamese during their commencement addresses. (See my earlier post, "What's Next? English-Only Commencement Speeches?") Two Asian-American groups, by the way, sent out a joint press release ...


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