ELL News Headlines

Throughout the week, Colorín Colorado gathers news headlines related to English language learners from around the country. The ELL Headlines are posted Monday through Friday and are available for free!

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New York Has Rewritten the Common Core. Here's What You Need to Know.

New York leaders have approved a new set of reading and math expectations for students, moving the state a step away from the Common Core State Standards, which are still in use in some 36 states. The new standards retain many of the common core's key features. They still emphasize learning how to read and analyze increasingly complex texts, and how to learn problem-solving algorithms and model with math. Educators are still parsing out precisely what some of the changes will mean for day-to-day instruction. Accompanying changes in curriculum, training, and testing are still months and years away.

Packs of Teens on Bikes Join Volunteer Effort After Mexico Earthquake

All week, thousands of volunteers in Mexico have raced to the sites of collapsed buildings to save those trapped in the rubble following a series of powerful earthquakes. But after a disaster, one of the hardest things can just be getting around. As NPR's Nick Fountain reports in Mexico City, a low-tech solution is emerging  - kids on bikes.

Look Who's Listening: New Study Shows That Babies Can Be Bilingual Starting Before Birth

Earlier this summer, a study out of the University of Kansas looked at how babies received different languages in the womb, learning that, in utero, babies are attuned to the rhythm of their dominant language and mentally switch gears when they hear a foreign tongue. At the time, we hypothesized that, if they have such capabilities within the womb, babies could very well be prepared to handle two languages once they're out of it. That hypothesis has turned out to be quite true, as new research shows that bilingual babies are more than capable to process the languages their environments contain.

Cornell Puerto Rican Student Association Leading Local Hurricane Relief Effort

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rican students wait in Ithaca for news of home. Cornell Puerto Rican Student Association's secretary Julia Pagán Andréu ’19, who calls San Juan home, was eager to hear news from her family — including her mother, father, sister, cousin and grandparents — who waited out last week's storm. "I'm just lucky that I've been able to get in touch with them,” she said. "I've seen my friends posting on Facebook asking for help in making sure their parents and loved ones are okay. So many people haven’t heard anything."

English-Only States and Native Language Assessment Under ESSA

The passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December of 2015 was welcomed by many advocates and leaders as a huge step toward equitable education for English learners (ELs). These new benefits for ELs under ESSA include expanded requirements in reporting EL data, the possibility of increased funding for EL programs, and more nuanced school rating systems that take into account the English proficiency of students.

Hurricane Maria Could Send Wave of Puerto Rican Students to Miami

When Hurricane Irma sideswiped Puerto Rico in early September, the storm knocked out power to about 600 schools and left 400 with no running water. As Hurricane Maria approached the island this week, 20 schools had yet to reopen. Now, with power knocked out for the entire island, roads impassable and widespread flooding, it could be weeks — or even months — before some of Puerto Rico's 350,000 students are able to return to their local school. The Miami-Dade school district is preparing for an influx of displaced students — either kids sent to live with relatives or entire families fleeing the island, at least temporarily.

Civil Rights Milestone: 'Little Rock 9' At 60

Monday marks the 60th anniversary of the controversial and historic desegregation of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. Some are celebrating the milestone. Others say more progress is needed.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Aims to Expand Scope of Civics Education Efforts

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, speaking as the keynoter at a forum on civics education Thursday, stressed the importance of engaging young people of various backgrounds on the topic. "For me, civic education is the key to inspiring kids to want to become and stay involved in making a difference," Sotomayor told the Democracy at a Crossroads National Summit, a daylong event that drew scores of students, educators, policymakers, and others to the Newseum here.