ELL News Headlines

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GOP Health Care Proposals: What Educators Should Know

The Trump administration and congressional Republicans are in the midst of trying to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — better known as "Obamacare" — with big implications for the nation's schools when it come to special education funding, teacher benefits, and more. So just how would the Senate bill — the "Better Care Reconciliation Act"—impact schools? How is it different from the ACA and the House bill in ways that might matter to educators? Advocates — and senators — were still combing through a 142-page Senate draft for details Thursday so stay tuned.  But, in the meantime, here is an initial list of things to watch for in the debate over a new health care law.

2017 Summer Reading for Kids: Diverse Stories for Young People

The Simon and Schuster imprint, Salaam Reads, was founded in 2016 to introduce readers to Muslim characters in children's books. Earlier this year, Salaam Reads published its first book, Amina's Voice, by Rockville, Md., author Hena Khan. How are children’s books becoming more representative of their readers? Kojo explores the approach to these stories with local book lovers and writers.

An Intergenerational Graduación

Ileana Najarro, a 2015 graduate of Stanford, is a business reporter at The Houston Chronicle. In this personal essay about Stanford's graduation ceremony for Latino students, she writes, "There was no more special way to honor (my parents) than by participating in Nuestra Graduación, the separate graduation ceremony for Latino students at Stanford, a tradition that was started in the 1970s… These ceremonies aren't held in place of official graduation ceremonies, but are an additional celebration of the work of students from marginalized communities. So often, students who come from backgrounds that aren't well represented at their college feel that they don't belong; or if they fit in, they may end up feeling distanced from the communities they came from. Alternative ceremonies are an acknowledgment of a community within the college — an opportunity to honor collective perseverance in the face of unique challenges."

Latino Families Face Barriers on Path to Autism Diagnosis

A new survey shows that serious obstacles impede Latino families' quest for autism diagnosis and treatment in the United States. Challenges include a lack of information about autism and a concern that consulting experts might bring them legal trouble. The findings may help explain why Latino children with autism are diagnosed later on average than non-Latino white children in the U.S.

Come for the Computers, Stay for the Books

Traci Chun, a teacher-librarian at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington, is all done with shushing. "When my library is quiet, that's a red flag," said Chun. In fact, the busier it is, the better — whether it's kids experimenting with the Makey Makey circuitry or uploading designs to a 3D printer, or a class learning media literacy or a student seeking advice on a video she’s editing at one of the computer workstations.

Sherman Alexie Says He's Been 'Indian Du Jour' for a 'Very Long Day'

Sherman Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in the state of Washington. Alexie, who just publish a new memoir, says he came of age as a writer during a "golden era" of Native American literature. More recently though, he's seen a "fallow period." "I really hope that like 10 or 12 Native writers, fiction writers, non-fiction writers, really launch into the national consciousness ..." he says. "So I don't have to answer all the questions, so I don't have to get invited to all the conferences. Share the burden of being a public figure Indian! Come on, people! Hurry up, finish your books!"

Too Few ELL Students Land in Gifted Classes

Linnea Van Eman, the gifted education coordinator for the Tulsa school district, sees too many gifted students who simply don't have the language skills to show what they can do. The 36,000-student Oklahoma district has been pushing hard to bring more students from traditionally underrepresented groups—and English-language learners in particular — into its gifted program. Using a combination of more-diverse testing, greater parent outreach, and closer observation, Van Eman and her teachers are working to fill equity gaps in the district's advanced programs.

Students sat in cubicles using computers. It wasn't popular.

An Arizona-born charter school known for its call-center-like appearance has run into trouble as it attempted to expand to other states. Carpe Diem schools, which rely on computer-based lessons and some in-person instruction, began in 2006 and opened five additional schools in Texas, Ohio and Indiana about five years ago. This week, one of the schools in Indiana is closing. The management agency charged with implementing the expansion has been disbanded, leaving the four remaining spin-off schools to rethink their strategy. Some have ditched the cubicles and are giving teachers more autonomy to go off script, as they scramble to boost anemic enrollment.

Demand for UC Immigrant Student Legal Services Soars as DACA Announcement Sows Uncertainty

Maria Blanco did a double take when the Google alert popped up in her inbox late last week: President Trump had reversed his campaign pledge and decided to continue a federal program temporarily suspending deportations of young people who are in the country illegally. The news thrilled Blanco, an attorney who heads the University of California Immigrant Legal Services Center — the nation's first and only university system to provide free legal aid to students without legal status and their families. But her excitement was quashed within hours, when administration officials clarified that they still had made "no final determination”"on the program — called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA — leaving in question the fate of 750,000 young immigrants under its protection. An estimated 3,700 students without legal status attend UC campuses.

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