Let me point you to a couple of reports released this winter that synthesize some of the research out there on English-learners. I had hoped to go back to some of the original research to further investigate some of those conclusions. But the morning hours are slipping away, so I'll leave that for another day. "Challenging Common Myths About Young English Language Learners," by Linda M. Espinosa, is a policy brief of the New York City-based Foundation for Child Development. Here's one of the myths stated in the paper: "Latino English-language learners are less likely to be enrolled in pre-kindergarten ...


The administrators of the Diamond Lake School District 76 in Mundelein, Ill., don't want to have to provide bilingual education, even though Illinois requires it when a school district has at least 20 students who speak a language other than English, according to a Feb. 27 article in the Chicago Tribune. In "Mundelein District Challenges State Over Bilingual Education," the administrators of Diamond Lake contend that a decision to provide instruction almost entirely in English in 2003 has led to improved test scores. The state just learned in a review last spring that the school district had made the switch ...


Arizona legislators filed papers in U.S. District Court in Tucson yesterday asking the court to give them more time to come up with a way to adequately pay for the education of English-language learners, according to a Feb. 28 article by the East Valley Tribune and an article published today in the Arizona Republic. The court had given the Arizona legislature a March 4 deadline in the long-running Flores v. Arizona case. Timothy Hogan, the attorney for the plaintiffs, is quoted in the articles as saying he's willing to give the legislature an extra two weeks, but not more ...


The administrators for the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a privately run prison in Texas where some immigrant parents and children are detained after entering the country illegally, never let Margaret Talbot tour the facility. Neither did they grant a request by Jorge Bustamante, a sociologist and former Nobel Peace Prize nominee--and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Migrants--to visit the facility in Taylor, Texas, last May. But by interviewing immigrant parents and children who were detained in the past at Hutto and got out, Ms. Talbot has pieced together a picture of a facility that is, ...


I've gotten my quota of laughter for the day. Someone, and I don't know who, sent me a video from YouTube of a guy strumming a guitar and singing a love song in very rudimentary Spanish. He runs into a few problems, such as counting roses past the 10th rose. It's a very funny take on how hard it can be to make a second language work....


Tom Hutton, a lawyer for the National School Boards Association, made an interesting point in an interview with me this morning about a federal appeals court ruling last Friday in the 15-year-old Flores v. Arizona case. My colleague Mark Walsh and I have already blogged about this ruling from the U.S. Circuit of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, regarding English-language learners in Arizona. The appeals court upheld a lower-court ruling that a law passed by the Arizona legislature in 2006 does not satisfy a previous ruling of the lower court from 2000 that the state must ...


The one-year anniversary for my blog, Learning the Language, came and went while I was reporting on Iraqi refugee children in Jordan (the story will be out in Education Week next week). But let me take this opportunity to thank all of you for being part of this effort to have a space on the Web for up-to-date news about English-language learners. I like the immediacy of the Web—how I don't have to wait until the newspaper goes to press to report about something that comes across my desk. And let's face it, some of my blog entries are ...


It's more common for schools to group English-language learners into classes according to their level of English proficiency than to mix students with a wide range of fluency levels in the same class, particularly for English class. But an article in the March/April issue of the Harvard Education Letter tells how three high schools are taking the less-common approach of using heterogeneous groupings. And if you want to read more about the same topic, see a Dec. 5 article I wrote for Education Week about Brooklyn International High School. That school teaches English-language learners with different levels of fluency ...


In Waukegan, Ill., educators have created criteria for when English-language learners should move to mainstream classes that are linked to how well such students score on the state's English-language-proficiency test. The Waukegan school board approved a new policy this month that says students who score 4.5 out of 6 possible levels on the state's English-language proficiency test—called ACCESS for ELLs—should be moved to regular classes. I draw attention to this because many school districts and states are trying to figure out how to draw similar linkages, now that all states have comprehensive tests that measure students'...


On Friday, a federal appeals panel upheld a ruling by U.S. District Judge Raner Collins of Tucson, Ariz., that the Arizona legislature must come up with a workable plan to pay for the education of English-language learners by March 4. The Arizona Republic reports in a Feb. 23 article that the panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed that a 2006 law doesn't comply with previous U.S. District Court rulings that require adequate funds for Arizona's English-language learners. Judge Marsha S. Berzon, one of the three judges on the court of appeals panel, ...


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