In her "Learning the Language" blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "Those are the three accommodations that states most frequently permit English-language learners to use while taking their state's regular math and reading tests, new research shows … Researchers at George Washington University's Center for Equity and Excellence in Education report this information and much more about states' policies on testing accommodations for ELLs in a descriptive study, a 'best practices' study, and a guide they expect to release on Thursday."
At 69, her eyes soft and creased with age, Alvena Oldman remembers how the teachers at St. Stephens boarding school on the Wind River Reservation would strike students with rulers if they dared to talk in their native Arapaho language. More than a half-century later, only about 200 Arapaho speakers are still alive, and tribal leaders at Wind River, Wyoming's only Indian reservation, fear their language will not survive. As part of an intensifying effort to save that language, this tribe of 8,791, known as the Northern Arapaho, recently opened a new school where students will be taught in Arapaho. Elders and educators say they hope it will create a new generation of native speakers.
In a ritual repeated nearly every weekend for the past decade here in Colombia's war-weary Caribbean hinterlands, Luis Soriano gathered his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, in front of his home on a recent Saturday afternoon. Sweating already under the unforgiving sun, he strapped pouches with the word "Biblioburro" painted in blue letters to the donkeys' backs and loaded them with an eclectic cargo of books destined for people living in the small villages beyond.
Bowing to complaints from state officials and advocates for English-language learners, the federal government has published a final — and more flexible — "interpretation" of how states should carry out the section of the No Child Left Behind Act that applies to such students.
Community colleges are reporting skyrocketing enrollment, as students make tough choices in a sputtering economy. Some students are giving up on more expensive four-year schools and doing two years in a community college.
Next year, Centaurus High School in Boulder, CO is testing a pilot class that will immerse students in both the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. The course will cater to students who come from elementary and middle school dual-immersion programs. The inaugural Boulder Valley course, called "Cumbres de la civilizacion hispanica," is billed as an introduction to the "roots of Hispanic culture through the study of key figures of Spain and Latin America."
Educators have long argued that standardized testing is a poor way to evaluate student knowledge. They also disagree over whether test scores are the best way to evaluate teachers. In New York City schools, a surprising compromise allows some of that data to be used.
Edna Salcedo Talboy, a member of the Kansas City Human Rights Commission, writes in this opinion column, "For over 100 years Latinos have been part of the fabric of the Kansas City area. Twenty percent of the children in the Kansas City School district today are Latino, yet Latino parents and their children do not see one of their own on the Kansas City school board."
<em>Sesame Street English</em>, a new series from Sesame Workshop, features anime-style versions of the show's signature Muppets introducing preschoolers to the English language. <em>Sesame Street English</em>, which can be adapted for classrooms, uses research-based methods to provide introductory language skills necessary to build a basic English vocabulary. Each all-English episode introduces one letter, sound and word, using visuals and rhythms. <em>Sesame Street</em> Muppet characters, including Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, and Grover, are featured in a new anime style.
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.