It's a challenge many Spanish-speaking students face inside the classroom, but a Missouri educator is making lesson plans easier to understand, one word at a time. Elvira Escalera is helping many area students learn English. Escalera works as a translator for the Aurora School District, a position she has held for ten years.
Forty international students, belonging to the English as a Second Language class, took a field trip to Lawton, OK to learn about some of Oklahoma's unique historical icons. "We do this every year," said ESL Professor Abby Figueroa. "I think that the students really enjoy it, and learn a great deal about Oklahoma too."
Statistics are against Emma Barrera as she plans to attend college next year. The 18-year-old Des Moines North High School senior has been told that among her fellow Hispanic high school classmates, approximately half will graduate from high school. Of those, only one-fifth will graduate from college. But on Friday, Barrera and other Hispanic youths gathered at Grand View College to hear the other side of the story at the youth leadership portion of the 10th annual Iowa Latino Conference coordinated by a statewide committee and the University of Iowa School of Social Work.
The Brownsville Independent School District, one of the nation's poorest school districts, already tousled by a hurricane, and nervously awaiting division by a fence being built along the U.S.-Mexican border, won a coveted $1 million prize Tuesday for making academic advances. The Broad Prize for Urban Education is the nation's largest and will be divided among the district's graduating seniors for college scholarships.
In her "Learning the Language" blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "The Women's Sports Foundation has documented through survey responses that immigrant girls are much less likely than girls who aren't immigrants to this country to participate in organized sports … A report, 'Go Out and Play,' released by the foundation today, says that 43 percent of immigrant girls in families surveyed participate in organized sports, while 65 percent of girls in non-immigrant families surveyed do."
Samantha Idrogo watched her classmates shape tortilla dough with a trained eye, showing them how to flop the dough from hand to hand to create a pancake. For many of the students in Sherri Roth's Spanish III class, this activity was an opportunity to try something new. But for Idrogo, making tortillas is part of her heritage. Idrogo is a student at Danbury High School in Lakeside Marblehead, and the school's annual Hispanic Heritage celebrations are a chance for her to share her family's traditions with her classmates.
In her "Learning the Language" blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "The agenda for the LEP Partnership meeting scheduled for this Wednesday and Thursday lists Zollie Stevenson as the director of student achievement and school accountability programs for both Title I and Title III programs of the No Child Left Behind Act … Ms. Stevenson's title indicates that the U.S. Department of Education has carried through with its intent to put Title I and Title III under the same administration, effective this fall. The Title III program had previously been administered by the office of English-language acquisition, or OELA."
Siler City, N.C., used to be the kind of town where almost everyone, black and white, had roots going back a century or two. It was just about the last place a Spanish-speaking immigrant was likely to land. That started to change in the 1990s. Today, thanks to chicken-processing jobs that no one else wants, Siler City is about half Latino, and the town's long-time residents are still adjusting to the demographic shift.
Teachers at Annapolis Middle School hope a new pilot course that gives Spanish-speaking students instruction in their native language will help them do better in school. For now, it's an experiment for about 35 sixth- and seventh-graders, but if it's successful, it could be expanded to other grades and schools next year. It could also be a way to raise Annapolis Middle School's lagging test scores.
Oregon's public schools are pondering what, exactly, Ballot Measure 58 will mean for them, how it will be implemented and what impact it will have on students. Portland schools officials say it's difficult to gauge how much the so-called bilingual education ban would impact public education, but that it would affect thousands of students and hundreds of teachers.