The Education Commission of the States has just released an up-to-date list of which states provide in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrants enrolled in their state colleges and universities. As of June, the document says, 10 states had passed legislation that enables students living illegally in the country to pay the in-state rates. They are: California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington. I've met some high school guidance counselors or teachers who have told me they sometimes end up trying to help undocumented students research ways to finance a college education. Whether a state ...


I've been out of the office for a couple of days, so it's only now that I draw your attention to testimony by various organizations before the House Education and Labor Committee regarding provisions for English-language learners proposed in a "discussion draft" for reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act. Two civil rights groups—the National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund—seem to have had the ear of members of Congress shaping reauthorization issues for ELLs all along, so it's not surprising that representatives from those groups testified on Sept. 10 in favor...


I've been writing a lot more about education policy on this blog than I intended. Part of the reason is that it seems that every time I turn around, someone has new ideas--or more proposals--on how to reauthorize provisions for English-language learners under the No Child Left Behind Act. So on Friday, at the end of the work week, I took a break and browsed Dave's ESL Cafe, a Web site that's been around longer than the seven years I've been writing about ELLs for Education Week. Dave Sperling launched the site, which evolved from an online "ESL Graffiti Wall," ...


The House Labor and Education Committee has released a discussion draft for reauthorizing the Title III section of the No Child Left Behind Act that charges the U.S. Secretary of Education with figuring out a method to identify English-language learners that can be used to reliably distribute funds for such students. Title III is the section of the federal education law that authorizes funding for English-acquisition programs. A summary of the discussion draft says that requirement is meant to address recommendations contained in a December 2006 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office pointing out problems with the ...


U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings doesn't like some of the provisions for English-language learners in a preliminary proposal by leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee for reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. (See previous post, here.) In a letter she sent today to Rep. George Miller, a Democrat from California who is chairman of the committee, she criticized the proposal that school districts could let English-language learners take tests in their native language for up to five years, with the option of extending that time by two more years on a case-by-case basis. "That's ...


Until this week, I'd never heard of Jose-Pablo Fernandez. He's the former director of the Mexican Institute of Houston, and he just won a $10,000 Purpose Prize for his creation of a program to teach computer courses in Spanish to parents at the same schools their children attend. The program, which also encourages parents to get involved in their children's education, is now offered in 110 schools and community centers in Houston, San Antonio, and Beaumont, Texas. The Purpose Prize is given to people in their "second half of life working on critical social issues," according to a press ...


State monitors overseeing Arizona's programs for English-language learners have been out and about visiting classrooms, and they report that some teachers educating such students don't have a command of the language, according to an Aug. 31 article in the Arizona Republic. The evaluators, who based their conclusions on visits to 32 school districts last school year, also said that in a dozen school districts, teachers were sidestepping state law by teaching Spanish in the classroom. (In Arizona, state law permits bilingual education only under very restricted circumstances.) Note that the article is based on anecdotal information from the state's report, ...


Oakland Unified School District in California this week opened its first school that enrolls only immigrant students. Called the Oakland International High School, it is modeled after international high schools in New York City for newcomers to the United States, according to a news broadcast by a California television station. The school aims to help English-language learners acquire the language and academic skills they need to graduate from high school and go on to college. The school was started with help from the Internationals Network for Public Schools, a nonprofit organization in New York City that gives support to eight ...


The House Education Committee has released a draft of a reauthorized No Child Left Behind Act that provides both added flexibility and a couple of new requirements concerning how schools educate and assess English-language learners. For an overview of the draft, read the article by my colleagues David J. Hoff and Alyson Klein. Among the added flexibility is the opportunity for school districts to test ELLs in their native language for up to five years—up from three years in the current law—with the option of extending that testing for two additional years for children on a case-by-case...


Education Week published this week a story I wrote about educators' ideas for reauthorization of the federal migrant education program under the No Child Left Behind Act. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 36 percent of the 685,000 children in the migrant education program are English-language learners. Most migrant children are Latinos. Don't miss the accompanying photo gallery, put together by Sarah Evans, Education Week's director of photography....


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