The Roswell Independent School District in New Mexico has a policy that school officials don't ascertain the immigration status of students, which complies with federal laws that entitle undocumented students to a free K-12 education. But that didn't stop a school resource police officer from discovering that Karina Acosta, a senior at Roswell High School, was undocumented, detaining her at school, and referring her to immigration authorities, according to news reports from Roswell and Albuquerque (here and here). She was deported to Mexico this month. (I learned about this story over at ImmigrationProf.blog). School officials are protesting the students' ...


I may be out of touch, but a Dec. 7 article in The News & Observer is the first news coverage I've seen of a plan by a school district to intentionally spread out the number of English-language learners in its schools because of accountability provisions under the No Child Left Behind Act. The article says that some board members of the Wake County, N.C., school district have argued that it's necessary to more evenly distribute the number of ELLs in schools so that individual schools are not overburdened with students who are struggling to pass standardized tests. At a ...


Someone over at the language-education division of Caslon Publishing in Philadelphia sent me review copies of a couple of handbooks published in 2007 that I think could help school people who want to form districtwide teams to address needs of ELLs. The first handbook, Special Education Considerations for English Language Learners: Delivering a Continuum of Services, which costs $34.95, advises educators on how to move beyond the question of "to refer or not to refer" an English-language learner to special education. It explains how schools can bring together a team of people with different kinds of expertise to address ...


Congressman Ron Paul thinks it is "good and proper" to have English as the only language used for all legal matters at the national level, but that bilingualism should be permissible in schools. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, noted that he and others "fought for English immersion" in Massachusetts, referring to how Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure against bilingual education in 2002. Those are a couple of examples of how Republican candidates for president touched on language issues during yesterday's debate in Miami, sponsored by Univision, a Spanish-language network. Click here for a transcript. As I noted ...


One Latina got most of her information about college on her own, by searching the Internet. Another Latino student learned about the college application process through participation in Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, a college-prep program. The personal stories of how those two students and some other Latino youths made it to college are included in a report, "Voces (Voices): A Profile of Today's Latino College Students," released by Excelencia in Education, a Washington-based nonprofit organization. The report notes that despite increases in enrollment in higher education for Latinos, only 25 percent of college-age Latinos (ages 18 to 24) ...


It will soon be Christmas—a holiday celebrated by many Americans but not ALL Americans or students attending U.S. schools. The fact that Christmas is celebrated by many Americans gives teachers of English-language learners an opportunity to teach something about American culture, but the fact that it's not celebrated by everyone means they need to be sensitive in how they talk about it. The coming of Christmas can be a chance to talk about holidays in other countries as well as the United States. Colorin Colorado has posted some advice on what to consider when celebrating holidays in classrooms...


U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Colorado congressman and Republican candidate for president, turned down a Spanish-television network's invitation to appear in a debate among Republican presidential candidates this Sunday because he's opposed to having his remarks translated into Spanish, according to a Dec. 5 article in the Washington Times. Candidates will speak in English but their answers to questions will be translated into Spanish for broadcast on Univision, a Spanish-language network. The other Republican candidates accepted the invitation to participate in the debate, according to the article. The Washington Times quotes Mr. Tancredo as saying, "What all my colleagues—what...


An on-going goal I have for reporting on English-language learners here at Education Week is to get into classrooms as often as possible. Though I work for a newspaper about education, you'd be surprised how many weeks can go by—while I'm writing about proposals for reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act or explaining state policy changes concerning testing ELLs—that I don't set foot inside a classroom. Thus it was a pleasure to spend a day at Brooklyn International High School this fall trying to understand how teachers there provide instruction to ELLs of all different proficiency levels ...


An article published today in The Arizona Republic, "Money at heart of English-learning fight," gives an update to the long-standing controversy and court case in Arizona regarding how much the state must pay to educate its English-language learners. Republican legislative leaders in the state have appealed a U.S. district judge's ruling in Flores v. Arizona that the state legislature's plan for funding programs for ELLs doesn't meet federal law. (You can find my most recent posts on the court case here and here.) The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is expected to begin a hearing on ...


Whether Latinos in the United States are learning English quickly or not seems to be somewhat in the eye of the beholder. The Pew Hispanic Center reported last week that 88 percent of second-generation Latinos surveyed report they speak English very well. In their executive summary of the report, "English Usage Among Hispanics in the United States," the authors translated the 88 percent statistic into the following statement: "Nearly all Hispanic adults born in the United States of immigrant parents report they are fluent in English." But Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which ...


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