If a child has the name Juan Carlos Hernandez Gonzalez, how should a school record that student's name in its databases? What if the name is Abdul Rahman bin Tariq bin Khalid Al-Alawi? A report prepared by the Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia for the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences gives some answers to these questions. It's called "Registering Students From Language Backgrounds Other than English." The report makes a point that I had never thought of, that if schools don't develop consistent rules for how students' names from various cultures are recorded, a child's academic history ...


As a follow-up to a couple of blog entries I've written lately (here and here) about how schools have gotten caught up in law-enforcement actions by federal immigration authorities, I'll point you to an article in November's issue of The School Administrator, published by the American Association of School Administrators. In "Fighting for Immigrant Children's Rights," several school superintendents recall how they responded to immigration raids in their communities to make sure children were safe and cared for. (I wrote about this topic for Education Week in September). New to me was an anecdote about how educators at the Board ...


I mention in this week's Education Week how bilingual education got a lot of attention at last week's summit on English-language learners, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington. The educational method received very little attention at the previous five annual conferences on this group of students. I worry a bit about sounding like a broken record in continually reporting on whether the various entities of the federal government are giving credence to bilingual education, but the debate over whether it's better to teach English-language learners through bilingual education or English-only methods is highly political, and I'll ...


With some communities seemingly making up immigration policy as they go these days, I've been reading more news stories about how schools are involved in actions by immigration authorities. I recently tried to answer the question in Education Week: What is a school to do in such situations? The latest incident involves a mother and two sons in Tucson, Ariz., who were deported (technically, they were "voluntarily returned") to their native Mexico after police found one of the sons to possess marijuana at school, according to an Associated Press story published today. The article said the boy's father was being ...


This is a story about how states have been required to do something under federal law, and only NOW are getting a handbook from the federal government on how to do it. The No Child Left Behind Act required states, for the first time, to develop English-proficiency standards and tests and assess English-language learners every year in grades K-12. The English-proficiency testing is an extra layer on top of the requirement that all students, including ELLs, must take mathematics and reading tests in grades 3 to 8 and once in high school. (ELLs are exempted from taking the reading test ...


English-language learners are the subject of the first entries on a Web site, Doing What Works, launched by the U.S. Department of Education today. I've been browsing the site to see what the Education Department, in this case, relying on research from the Institute of Education Sciences, considers to be best practices for teaching ELLs. The entries focus on how to teach ELLs to read, a subject that I learned a bit more about recently in writing about how the Reading First program of the No Child Left Behind Act is working for this group of students. I didn't, ...


Illinois has stopped using an alternative mathematics and reading test for English-language learners because state officials haven’t been able to persuade the U.S. Department of Education that the test is comparable to the state’s regular tests. The Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English, or IMAGE, uses simplified English to test ELLs in math and reading. Illinois developed the language arts part of the test in 1996 and several years later added the math part. Matthew Vanover, a spokesman for the Illinois board of education, said the state will eventually develop another alternative test for Illinois’ 36,000...


It's less than two days old, so it's difficult to tell yet what a new blog by the Hispanic CREO advocacy group is all about, but I like the title, "Daily Grito." In Spanish, the word "grito" means cry or call to action, and the blog is the organization's "daily call to action on the Latino education crisis," according to the blog's first entry. I wrote about the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options, or Hispanic CREO, and its mission to press for school choice for Hispanics when the organization was first launched in October 2003. Education Week also ...


Whenever I write about immigration issues on this blog I get comments from people who feel very strongly about this country's immigration policy—or lack of policy. I read all of your comments and appreciate that so many people are weighing in on these issues. But a couple of the comments—both from people sympathetic to undocumented people and those who feel the federal government should crack down on illegal immigration—have not been civil. Education Week has a policy that we will remove comments that include abusive language or personal attacks. You can click on the policy posted...


I learned this week that the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp this fall commemorating a 1947 federal court case that gave Mexican-American children in some California school districts the right to attend regular public schools rather than segregated schools. The court case was a precursor to the Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, which mandated the integration of U.S. schools. Peter Zamora, the regional counsel for the Washington office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who seems to appear on panels everywhere these days, mentioned this ...


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