My colleague David Hoff has passed along to me a draft of Title III, the section of the No Child Left Behind Act for English-acquisition programs, that a Senate committee is proposing for reauthorization of the act. Unlike the "discussion draft" released by the House Education and Labor Committee in August, the proposals of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee are not yet online. The partial draft of a revised NCLB from the Senate has only been circulated among lobbyists for comments (for more on that see David Hoff's blog, NCLB: Act II). This afternoon, I laid out ...


Parents of a Latino boy in Oregon who speaks only English have sued the Hillsboro School District because they claim their son was placed in an English-as-a-second-language program based on his ethnicity, according to an article published this week in The Oregonian. A Hillsboro school official said in an Associated Press article that the school district places children in ESL programs based on a home-language survey and assessment. That's the practice across the nation, in accordance with federal law. The Oregonian article says the issue was complicated by the fact the boy is developmentally delayed. What's particularly interesting to me, ...


When U.S. Department of Education officials speak publicly about sticky issues concerning English-language learners, such as how to assess them, they usally mention the LEP Partnership. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the partnership in July 2006 as an effort to help states deal with assessment of ELLs. State education officials have come to Washington twice so far for meetings of the partnership. The LEP Partnership members will meet for the third time on Sunday, Oct. 28. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond J. Simon's staff provided a schedule for the release of six publications that ...


The lack of a national standard for how English-language learners are identified and tracked—and a lack of a uniform standard even within some states—makes it difficult for anyone to know how well such students are doing academically. That's one point made in a report, "English, Language Education, and America's Future," released this month by the Alexandria, Va.-based National Association of State Boards of Education. As of this writing, the report hadn't been posted on-line, but the Web site of the National Association of State Boards of Education says it is "coming soon." The report makes five recommendations...


Quite a few times when I've interviewed Timothy M. Hogan, the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the Flores v. Arizona federal court case concerning the rights of English-language learners, and he's been frustrated that the Arizona legislature hasn't satisfied a federal court order concerning the lawsuit, he's made the statement: "We'll just have to go back to court." Flores v. Arizona is the case in which a judge has ruled that Arizona doesn't adequately pay for the education of its English-language learners. Arizona lawmakers missed a deadline to fix the problem set for the end of their last legislative session, ...


Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who is running for president, has urged California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to sign a bill that would enable undocumented students who graduate from high school to receive college aid, according to the Associated Press. The bill would make low-income immigrant students who are undocumented eligible to receive state grants or community college fee waivers. California, along with nine other states, already allows such students to pay in-state college tuition rates. To get a sense for how heated the debate is in this country over any policies that give a break to undocumented students, read comments to ...


I've spent some time this week browsing Colorin Colorado, a Web site with resources for teachers of English-language learners and their families, and I think it has some really useful information. You can subscribe to e-mail alerts from the site here. Since I've started this blog, I've begun to get some requests from parents of English-language learners who are having questions about their children's education. A mother of a child adopted from Guatemala, for example, doesn't understand why her 11-year-old daughter seems to understand everything that she says in English, but doesn't try to speak the language. The child has ...


U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond J. Simon told a roomful of Latino leaders yesterday that the No Child Left Behind Act is working because it "has driven dramatic gains in math and reading achievement." Mr. Simon spoke at a meeting on Latino education held in Washington by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. He cited examples of gains on the National Assessment of Educational Progress as evidence that the federal education law is working for Hispanics as well as for all students. He said scores for 4th grade reading and math, for instance, "are...


At Aurora Public Schools in Colorado, 700 teachers and staff are taking an online course in Spanish this fall so they can communicate better with the school district's Spanish-speaking parents. Jose C. Paz, a translator for the district, who arranged for the classes, said district officials don't expect educators at the beginning stages of studying Spanish to learn much more than pleasantries in the course, which is designed for teachers and requires about 16 hours of seat time. But even that can help teachers to be more comfortable with Spanish-speaking parents, he said. He noted that the lessons are designed ...


A number of lawmakers who are working on reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act are invited to speak this week at a National Capitol Summit on Latino Students and Educational Opportunity, being held in Washington, D.C. The one-day meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. Invited speakers include Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, a Democrat from Massachusetts; Sen. Arlen Spector, a Republican from Pennsylvania; Rep. George Miller, a Democrat from California; and Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, a Republican from California. The summit is sponsored by the Virginia Beach, Va.-based ...


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