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ELL News

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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!

ELL News Updates

Note: These links may expire after a week or so, and some websites require you to register first before seeing an article. Colorín Colorado does not necessarily endorse these views or any others on these outside web sites.

Colleges Seek New Paths to Diversity After Court Ruling

The New York Times

April 24, 2014

Leaders in higher education, upset by Tuesday's Supreme Court decision upholding Michigan’s ban on race-based preferences in college admissions, said the ruling would nudge them further along the path of finding alternative means to promote diversity in their student bodies. Race remains a permissible element in admissions in states without such a ban, and many educators hailed the dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, which emphasized the continuing significance of race. Still, they said affirmative action appeared to have a limited future.

States' Rollout of Common Core Goes Under the Microscope

Education Week

April 24, 2014

Organizations tracking implementation of the Common Core State Standards praise state education agencies for collaborating well with local officials and across state borders, and for developing a strong base of materials to help with the transition to the standards. But states still face hurdles, analysts find, including finding adequate funding to make the common core a reality at the classroom level and assuring that the rollout goes smoothly amid other significant policy shifts.

Long Waiting List Prompts Bilingual School to Grow

The Charlotte Observer

April 24, 2014

Charlotte has the largest population of foreign-born citizens in the state — 734,000 people — yet the city has just one small nonprofit bilingual preschool and two others affiliated with Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter and St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Collectively, they hold about 150 students, with a waiting list quadruple that number and rising. The Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, which focuses on the fast growing Latino population, is now at work on a plan to double its capacity by moving to a new site.

Court Backs Michigan on Affirmative Action

The New York Times

April 23, 2014

In a fractured decision that revealed deep divisions over what role the judiciary should play in protecting racial and ethnic minorities, the Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment that bans affirmative action in admissions to the state's public universities. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in the longest, most passionate and most significant dissent of her career, said the Constitution required special vigilance in light of the history of slavery, Jim Crow and "recent examples of discriminatory changes to state voting laws."

More Latino Than White Students Admitted to UC Schools

KPCC

April 23, 2014

More Latino than white students in California have been offered admission to the state's premier public universities for the first time, officials said Friday, a milestone that reflects the diverse racial makeup of a state where Latino children represent a majority of students in public schools. "It is really encouraging and emphasizes that Latinos want to go to college," Campaign for College Opportunity Community Affairs Director Audrey Dow said. "Latino families, Latino students understand the value of an education and are doing what they need to do to be competitive and eligible for the most rigorous system in the state."

Editorial: English Language Learners in Massachusetts Need Help, Not an Inflexible State Mandate

The Boston Globe

April 23, 2014

In 2002, when Massachusetts passed a ballot measure restricting bilingual education and mandating English-only immersion as the official policy for students with limited English, it substituted one inflexible, state-mandated approach for another. The hope was that most students placed in so-called sheltered immersion programs would learn English far faster — indeed, within a year. That presumption proved too optimistic in many cases. Now, lawmakers need to reconsider the immersion-only requirement and enact a policy aimed at producing the best academic results for students.

New California Community College Scorecard Shows Effects of Recession

Capital Public Radio

April 22, 2014

Paul Feist with the California Community Colleges says there’s a lot to like in the findings of the "Student Success Scorecard." But, Feist says California's community colleges had to cut more than 20 percent of their courses after the Great Recession started in 2008. He says the number of certificates and degrees and the number of transfers to four-year institutions have dropped 2.6 percent since then.

For Early Childhood Education, Tulsa Stands Out

NPR

April 22, 2014

The federal government spends almost $8 billion on preschool programs across the country, mostly on low income 4-year-olds. States spend billions more. But with at least 30 states planning to expand access to pre-K and President Obama promoting "preschool for all," what constitutes a quality preschool program? NPR's education team set out to better understand what separates the nation's best programs from the rest, and that journey led to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Maryland County Hosts Teacher Recruitment Fair After Teacher Visas Aren't Renewed

The Washington Post

April 22, 2014

The Prince George's County Public School System, which routinely starts each school year with dozens of teacher vacancies, is holding a job fair on Saturday to recruit teachers and will hold a special recruitment fair for ESOL and special education in May. The school system is likely to have more vacancies next year when school reopens in August because the district has decided not to extend the visas of teachers from overseas.

Common Core at Four: Sizing Up the Enterprise

Education Week

April 21, 2014

The Common Core State Standards have touched virtually every aspect of the nation's K-12 system over the past several years, but big challenges remain for the initiative. As Education Week explores in this special report, the initial vision for the standards — and for aligned assessments — is now bumping up against reality on the ground in states, school districts, and local communities.

Muslims in New York City Unite on Push to Add Holidays to School Calendar

The New York Times

April 21, 2014

There were Muslims from Bosnia and Montenegro, Egypt and Syria, Pakistan and Bangladesh — several hundred in all. It was a gathering remarkable in its diversity from among New York City's Muslims, a growing group whose members often find it difficult to work together politically because of differences in national origin, language, sect and class. But a single issue has managed to unify them: the push to close the city’s public schools for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the most sacred Muslim holidays.

Sen. Ricardo Lara Proposes Undocumented Student Loan Program

The Sacramento Bee

April 21, 2014

Seeking to close a gap undocumented students face in funding their education, state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, has proposed a new loan program for California's public universities. Senate Bill 1210 would make available $9.2 million for University of California and California State University campuses to administer loans to undocumented students, who are ineligible for federal financial aid and most private loans.

Entwining Tales of Time, Memory and Love

The New York Times

April 18, 2014

The Magus of magical realism, Gabriel García Márquez — who died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City, at the age of 87 — used his fecund imagination and exuberant sleight of hand to conjure the miraculous in his fiction: plagues of insomnia and forgetfulness, a cluster of magical grapes containing the secret of death, an all-night rain of yellow blossoms, a swamp of lilies oozing blood, a Spanish galleon marooned in a Latin American jungle, cattle born bearing the brand of their owner.

Children's Fantasy Fiction Needs More Characters of Color

The Root

April 18, 2014

Author C.J. Farley writes, "In his 1976 essay The Devil Finds Work, James Baldwin wrote, 'No one, I read somewhere, a long time ago, makes his escape personality black.' Baldwin was talking about the movies, but he might as well have been talking about children's books. When I was a kid, I loved reading works like J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. But virtually all fantasy novels aimed at younger readers featured a complete absence of heroes of color. There were no black knights or wizards who looked like me, fighting dragons or outwitting minotaurs."

Slide Show: American Public Libraries Great and Small

The New Yorker

April 18, 2014

In the course of eighteen years, beginning in 1994, the California-based photographer Robert Dawson took pictures of hundreds of public libraries across the United States. The results are collected in his new book, "The Public Library: A Photographic Essay." Dawson’s project makes a powerful case for how public libraries serve communities in every corner of the country. In the introduction, he writes, "Public libraries are worth fighting for, and this book is my way of fighting."

Tests Balance Common Core Demands for Students with Cognitive Issues

Education Week

April 17, 2014

While the attention of most educators is focused on the millions of students trying out the general assessments based on the Common Core State Standards, a smaller, but no less momentous, set of field tests is underway for students with severe cognitive disabilities.

Proposed California Bill Seeks to Remove Prohibitions for Language Immersion Programs

San Francisco Examiner

April 17, 2014

On Wednesday, Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Long Beach, announced the California Education for a Global Economy initiative at a news conference outside West Portal Elementary, which in 1984 became the first elementary school in California to offer a two-way Chinese immersion program. State Bill 1174 would give voters in 2016 the option to amend Prop. 227 and allow multilingual education in state schools without requiring parents to go through a waiver process.

What's Behind Teen Pregnancy Rates for Latinas?

Tell Me More (NPR)

April 17, 2014

U.S. teen pregnancies have declined for years, but Latinas still have the highest rate. Health expert Jane Delgado explains, along with teacher and former teen mother Christina Martinez.

Denver Public Schools Hires Immigrant Teachers Under New Policy

The Denver Post

April 16, 2014

Colorado's largest school district sees teaching potential among immigrants who came to the U.S. without documentation when they were children. Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg said his district began reaching out to what he saw as a talent pool soon after President Barack Obama took steps last year to allow undocumented young people to stay and work under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Boasberg said more will be hired this coming year.

As Non-Native English Speaking Population Grows, Teachers Find New Ways to Instruct Students

Soapbox Cincinnati

April 16, 2014

When Erin Sucher began at Sharonville Elementary 14 years ago, teaching English vocabulary to speakers of Spanish, French and Uzbek wasn't part of her lesson plans. Over the past five years, however, southwest Ohio has seen a 250 percent increase in its English Language Learner (ELL) population. Cincinnati Public Schools has close to 2,000 students identified as ELL.