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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Commentary: The Mental Health Toll of Puerto Rico's Prolonged Power Outages

Shao Lin is a Professor of Public Health at SUNY Albany. In this commentary, she writes, "More than a month has passed since Hurricane Maria's initial landfall in Puerto Rico, but only around 26% of the island's power grid was generating energy as of October 25. As residents grapple with the immediate damage, it's worth asking what the health effects will be over the long term. How do we identify those most vulnerable, and, with limited resources, tailor public health interventions?"

As DACA Winds Down, 20,000 Educators Are in Limbo

Vicente Rodriguez runs an after-school program in Loma Linda, Calif., but dreams of becoming an English and ethnic studies teacher in a state desperate to fill teaching jobs. But there's a problem: The 30-year-old Rodriguez has a work permit through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that will expire in 2019, before he even has a chance to set foot in a classroom. "My ability to become a teacher is slowly slipping away," Rodriguez said, speaking before an audience at a news conference Wednesday in the Capitol.

West Contra Costa Schools to Receive $1 Million Federal Grant for English Learners and Immigrant Students

The West Contra Costa Unified School District is expecting to receive more than $1 million to assist English-as-a-second-language instruction for this current school year. The state grant is part of a federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which allows each state to decide how to utilize federal funding to improve the quality of instruction and advance education equity.

Response: ESSA & English-Language Learners

The new "question-of-the-week' is: "What is the impact of the Every Student Succeeds Act on English Language Learners?" Today's contributors are Margo Gottlieb, Sarah Said, Catherine Beck, Heidi Pace, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Tabitha Dell'Angelo, and Lindsey Moses.

10-Year-Old Girl with Cerebral Palsy Is Detained By Border Patrol After Emergency Surgery

Immigrant advocates are protesting the Border Patrol's apprehension this week of a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who is undocumented after she was operated on at a Texas hospital. The girl was traveling in an ambulance — accompanied by her cousin — to Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi on Tuesday when federal immigration officers stopped the vehicle at a checkpoint. The Border Patrol agents followed the ambulance to the hospital. According to the family's lawyer, Leticia Gonzalez, the agents insisted the door to her hospital room be left open at all times to keep an eye on her. On Wednesday, the hospital discharged Rosa Maria. The lawyer, reading the discharge papers on a conference call with reporters, said doctors recommended the child be released to "a family member who is familiar with her medical and psychological needs." But officers decided to transport the girl to a government-contracted juvenile shelter in San Antonio, 150 miles from Laredo, and put her into deportation proceedings. See more on this story from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and ABC News.

Some States With 'English-Only' Laws Won't Offer Tests in Other Languages

Florida is among several states gambling that their English-only laws will provide cover from a new federal push on English-language-learner education. Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, states must "make every effort" to develop statewide assessments in students' first languages if they constitute a significant portion of the student population. But Florida, with its nearly 300,000 English-learners, has shown no interest in translating its state tests into Spanish and Haitian Creole, languages spoken by tens of thousands of public school students in the state. The state education department does not want to give exams in language arts, math, or science in students' native languages as ESSA suggests because, it says, the state constitution declares English Florida's official language.

Students, Newly Arrived From Puerto Rico After Maria, Start Over in Boston Schools

The teens were home when their roof caved in. Jerielis Torres, 16, and her brother Erick Joel Torres, 17, could not sleep that night. Hurricane Maria’s winds left the land they love bare, while floodwaters washed away the life they knew in the Puerto Rican city of Manati. The days since have been constant upheaval for the teens, living part of the time in their aunt’s home, because it has a generator, and the rest in their own destroyed home. Their parents were careful to ration food, fuel, and water, but eventually the family had to make a choice. Jerielis and Erick flew to Boston on Saturday to live with their grandmother in Jamaica Plain for the foreseeable future. Their school in Puerto Rico, still without power and water, hasn’t reopened yet. By Monday morning, the siblings were waiting at a Boston Public Schools Welcome Center in Roxbury, where a pop-up center has opened to register children for school and assist families displaced after hurricanes tore though Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and elsewhere.

Young Children Are Spending Much More Time in Front of Small Screens

It's not your imagination: Tiny tots are spending dramatically more time with tiny screens. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, just released new numbers on media use by children 8 and under. The nationally representative parent survey found that 98 percent of homes with children now have a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone.