ELL News Headlines

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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.

Ed. Dept. Explains Special Education Guidance Cutbacks After Outcry

Last week, the Education Department announced it was rolling back 72 guidance documents—63 that came from the office of special education programs, and nine from the Rehabilitation Services Administration—as part of a larger Trump administration initiative to clear the federal books of "outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective" regulations. After a public outcry from disability advocates, the agency released the list again with explanations of why these regulations were targeted.

Puerto Rico Reopens 119 Schools But It Could Be Months, Or Never, For Nearly 1,000 More

If it weren't for the tangled clump of power lines on a nearby corner and the partially unhinged stop sign down the street, Tuesday might have seemed like the first day of a normal school year at Julio Sellés Solá School in San Juan's Río Piedras neighborhood. Hundreds of students streamed into the brightly painted elementary school, giddy with nervous excitement, as their parents followed closely behind. They stopped in the school’s interior patio to greet friends and hug teachers before lining up outside the classrooms. Then, at promptly 8 a.m., maintenance worker Iris García stood in the middle of the patio, stretched her arm into the air and rang a hand-held bell. With no electricity and no generator, it was the only way to mark the start of classes.

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