If Adrian Fenty, the mayor of the District of Columbia, gets approval from the D.C. Council to take charge of the District of Columbia schools, he'll have an expert on hand who understands the needs of English-language learners. Julia Lara headed various initiatives to benefit English-learners for 20 years at the Washington-based Council of Chief State School Officers, but left that organization in June. After some gardening and relaxation, she started a new job on Jan. 16, she told me in a telephone interview last week, as the special assistant for the D.C.'s deputy mayor for education, ...


I'm curious to see what the next move will be in the chess game between Virginia education officials and U.S. Department of Education officials regarding how to include beginning English-language learners in large-scale testing under the No Child Left Behind Act. The No. 2 official in the U.S. Department of Education, Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond J. Simon, has told Virginia officials to enforce testing requirements for such students OR ELSE. Mr. Simon said in a Jan. 31 letter to Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction, Billy K. Cannaday Jr., that he was “greatly distressed to hear that ...


Welcome to Learning the Language, a new blog at edweek.org about immigrant children in U.S. schools and the teachers and policymakers who help them to learn English. I started working for Education Week more than nine years ago writing about school technology. But I soon realized that I really wanted to be the reporter who wrote about immigrant students. I wanted to travel to pockets of the country and learn about people from interesting parts of the world. Seven years ago I got the beat I wanted, and I've had a blast with the cross-cultural experiences that it ...


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