July 2009 Archives

A state appeals court has ruled that California can stick with English in testing English-language learners for accountability purposes under the No Child Left Behind Act. Nine school districts sued the state over the English-only testing issue in 2005.

A high school in Las Vegas that was named a high-achieving turnaround school by the state of Nevada has a graduation rate of 55 percent. Sixty percent of the school's 2,800 students are Hispanic.

In a speech to the National Council of La Raza, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urges Hispanic parents to take after the mother of Sonia Sotomayor and help create more of a college-going culture in the Hispanic community.

The U.S. Department of Education wants to loosen a requirement that school districts must make adequate yearly progress goals for two years in a row in order to apply to the $650 innovation grants competition under the American Recovery and Investment Act.

In a report released this week, the United States Government Accountability Office says that the health, education, and labor departments of the federal government need to do a better job of sharing information and working together in providing English classes for adults. The authors of the report aim to describe federal and state funding for English-as-a-second-language classes and the classes' availability and quality, but they find gaps in information that is available for other areas of education. For one, the three federal agencies that provide funding for ESL classes do not collect data on participation of adults in English-learning courses ...

The Clark County School District in Las Vegas, which has many English-language learners, met adequate yearly progress goals overall under the No Child Left Behind Act in 2007 and 2008 but announced last week it failed to make AYP in 2009.

News and report releases about ELLs or immigrants didn't stop while I was on a two-week vacation. Here are a few noteworthy items: —National Public Radio featured Francisco Ruiz, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at Boston's English High School who tries to steer his students away from what he calls a "culture of excess": rap music, baggie jeans, short skirts, and a fixation on sports heroes. —Pew Hispanic Center released a report that shows that the flow of immigration from Mexico to the United States has slowed in the last three years, but there aren't any signs that Mexican-born immigrants are increasingly...

Malay-only will be the rule in Malaysia's math and science classes.

I'm taking a vacation and will take a break from blogging until Monday, July 27....

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards seeks public input on a new set of standards for "teachers of English as a new language." The window for comment is July 13-26.

Hawaii joins 18 other states and the District of Columbia in deciding to use the English-language-proficiency test most commonly used by states: Access for ELLs.

A task force of the Council on Foreign Relations endorses the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, or "Dream" Act, in its recommendations for comprehensive immigration reform.

Prince George's County school system in Maryland is laying off some of its bilingual parent liaisons, who were placed in schools to help boost parent involvement.

An advocate of undocumented students who was fired from her job as a principal of an early-college high school in Arizona last December has a new job as a principal of a new charter school that will open in the fall.

Did you know that Latino children begin school with strong social and emotional skills that are quite similar to those of children from middle-class white families? Did you know that math scores for first-generation Latinos in elementary school are strong, even though many of these children have limited English skills? Did you know that eight out of 10 Latino toddlers are being raised in two-parent homes? These are some of the findings reported in a research brief, "The Cultural Strengths of Latino Families: Firm Scaffolds for Children and Youth." The writers of the brief encourage writers and editors to feature ...

Walter Lara, 23, a graduate of Miami Dade College, gets a postponement on his deportation, which was scheduled for July 6.

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Horne v. Flores, a case concerning English-language learners in Arizona, touches on a lot of the big questions that educators of these students have been discussing for decades. (Find my EdWeek article about the ruling here.) Which is better, a bilingual education or English-only approach? What are the best measures for telling if ELLs are making progress? What are the components of a solid program for ELLs? What's the relationship between funding and effectiveness of programs? Where should the bar be set for determining if ELLs have made sufficient progress? It's interesting to ...

Wisconsin becomes the 11th state to permit undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at state universities.

The Storm Lake school district in Iowa reviewed and revised its policies on English-language learners after a student of Lao descent refused to take and English-language-proficiency test because she believed she was fluent in English.

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