There were nearly 5 million English language learners in U.S. public schools in fall 2015, according to the most recent available data from the National Center for Education Statistics. This represented 9.5% of U.S. public school enrollees, an increase from 8.1% in 2000. Here are six facts about English language learners in U.S. public schools.
NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with former first lady Michelle Obama about her new book Becoming. Cornish and Obama are joined in the conversation by three young women from Obama's high school in Chicago.
Robert Worth is a New York Times journalist who has visited Yemen many times during his reporting career. After his last visit in August, he writes in this in-depth piece, "The ongoing war in Yemen has turned much of the country into a wasteland and has killed at least 10,000 civilians, mostly in errant airstrikes. The real number is probably much higher, but verifying casualties in Yemen’s remote areas is extremely difficult. Some 14 million people are facing starvation, in what the United Nations has said could soon become the worst famine seen in the world in 100 years. Disease is rampant, including the world’s worst modern outbreak of cholera."
Are all politics local? The adage fits here in Michael Siraguse's two AP Government classes, where students are peppering their teacher with post-midterm questions about the city council race. The discussion about elections is not just part of the classroom curriculum – in the past year, Siraguse has helped register about 1,000 of his students to vote. One first-time voter, Jaime Trejo-Angeles, credits his teacher's instruction with increasing student engagement around voting. "He really drives the point home and gets really into detail and depth, where other teachers just read from the textbook," Trejo-Angeles says. When asked how voting for the first time felt, Trejo-Angeles reports, "I had a sense of adrenaline just walking into there."
In the first big election since teachers across the country walked out of their classrooms this spring, dozens of current teachers claimed state legislative seats — joining the policymaking bodies that greatly influence pay and funding for schools. While 42 teachers won, nearly 80 teachers — or two-thirds of those on the ballot — lost their legislative bids in Tuesday’s midterm elections, according to an Education Week analysis. Still, educators remain hopeful that the tide is turning — that after the series of teacher walkouts that swept the country, voters are paying more attention to education. (Note: An Illinois legislature race that includes a bilingual teacher as one of the candidates is currently separated by a single vote.)
Students across Maine can now be recognized for being proficient in multiple languages as part of a new initiative from the state's Department of Education. The agency announced Monday that beginning in May, it will offer a new award, called the Seal of Biliteracy, that will be featured on student transcripts. To earn the seal, students will need to show proficiency in English and another language.
When a group of Central American teenagers at a New Orleans charter school wanted a soccer team, it looked like the teenagers would have to do without the advantages sports participation could bring: The nonprofit that governs Louisiana's high school sports won't allow most of the Central American students to play. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association requires all student-athletes to present some proof of age — a birth certificate or official immigration papers — along with a social security number. Though some of the Central American students are in the country legally or have temporary visas, most do not have the required documents. Frustrated, Cohen teachers and administrators decided this fall to try something different. They started an unsanctioned team.
What is already the most diverse Congress ever will become even more so after Tuesday's elections, which broke barriers of race and gender. For the first time, a pair of Native American congresswomen are headed to the House, in addition to two Muslim congresswoman. Massachusetts and Connecticut will also send black women to Congress as firsts for their states, while Arizona and Tennessee are getting their first female senators.
Larry Proffitt woke up at 4 a.m. on Election Day to set up his campaign signs outside of voting stations around Robertson County. He spent the day shaking hands with area voters. Despite the early wake-up call, he had spent the night before in conferences with students in his eighth-grade history class and their parents. When he found out Tuesday evening that he lost his bid for the Tennessee House of Representatives, Proffitt was quick to say he was going to turn the experience into a classroom lesson the next day. It so happens his students will be studying the development of political parties.
Amid a wave of female candidates running for office, freshman state representative Ilhan Omar is on track to become the first Somali-American in Congress. The former refugee, who was running as a Democrat in Minnesota's left-leaning 5th Congressional District, is projected to win, defeating Republican candidate Jennifer Zielinksi.