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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.

Enrollment of Homeless Students Hits New Record in U.S. Schools

Education Week

October 01, 2014

There were a record 1,258,182 homeless students enrolled in American public schools during the 2012-13 school year, a nearly 8 percent increase from the previous year's levels, new U.S. Department of Education data released this week show. Homelessness in schools has increased dramatically in recent years, children's advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children noted in a news release.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

Schools Scramble to Help Teens Who Crossed Border

Santa Fe New Mexican

October 01, 2014

American schools are scrambling to provide services to the large number of children and teenagers who crossed the border alone in recent months. Unaccompanied minors who made up the summer spike at the border have moved to communities of all sizes, in nearly every state, Federal data indicate, to live with a relative and await immigration decisions.

Santa Barbara Community College Wins Top Honor at Increasing Latino Success

Santa Barbara Independent

October 01, 2014

Elected officials and higher education leaders from across the United States came together September 30 in Washington, D.C. to honor Santa Barbara City College's Express to Success Program (ESP) as the nation’s top program for increasing achievement for Latino students at the associate degree category.

Repeal of Bilingual Education to Go Before California Voters

Education Week

September 30, 2014

Bilingual education will be back on California voters' ballots come November 2016, due to a piece of legislation that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday. The new law will give voters a chance to overturn a 16-year-old state law that has severely restricted the use of bilingual education in California's public schools. Right now, English-only instruction is the predominant approach used by California public schools to educate the state's 1.4 million English-language learners.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

Could Bilingual Education Mold Kids' Brains to Better Resist Distraction?

KQED

September 30, 2014

For decades, psychologists cautioned against raising children bilingual. They warned parents and teachers that learning a second language as a child was bad for brain development. But recent studies have found exactly the opposite. Researchers now believe that when people learn another language, they develop cognitive advantages that improve their attention, self-control and ability to deal with conflicting information.

Instead of Staring at Screens, These Kids Stared at Faces

NPR

September 30, 2014

A recent study from researchers at UCLA found that kids who spent a week at outdoor camp — away from all electronic devices — got a lot better at picking up emotion in other people's faces.

English-Language Learners: California Districts Beating the Odds

Education Week

September 29, 2014

In a state where one in four public school students is an English-language learner, a handful of California school districts stand above their peers when it comes to helping ELLs meet academic standards, avoid becoming stuck at low to middle levels of language proficiency, and exit language-acquisition services, according to a new report from Education Trust-West.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

Nashville Opens Office for Immigrant ‘New Americans’

The Tennessean

September 29, 2014

Immigrants in Nashville have found a vocal ally in Mayor Karl Dean in recent years, and he recently announced the creation of a new Metro office focused exclusively on helping them. By executive order, Dean created the Mayor's Office of New Americans, or MONA, a city office tasked with involving immigrants in local government, expanding economic and educational opportunities and creating partnerships between Metro and community organizations.

SpanglishBaby Co-Founder Ana Flores Talks Bilingualism and Apps

Latin Post

September 29, 2014

SpanglishBaby co-founder and "Bilingual is Better" co-author Ana Flores grew up con un pie aquí y otro allá (with one foot here and there). Since childhood, the Houston-born online media socialite has been divided between the U.S. and El Salvador, where her parents are from, but has reconciled being the product of two nations, cognizant that a bicultural identity is valuable.

Students Learn to 'Toggle' Between Dialects

Education Week

September 26, 2014

As far back as George Bernard Shaw's fictional professor Henry Higgins, language experts have argued that low-income students who learn to switch from speaking a dialect to using standard English have an easier time moving up academically and socially. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan are scaling up a language program intended to help students embrace their home dialect, while also recognizing when and how to switch to standard American English in academic and professional settings.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

An Informal Study: Do Book Challenges Suppress Diversity?

School Library Journal

September 26, 2014

What is the overlap between challenged books and books by diverse authors? Inspired by the recent flurry of challenges to titles with diverse characters or by minorities or LGBTQ writers, young adult author and Diversity in YA cofounder Malinda Lo conducted an informal study to see whether there is a correlation between challenged books and diverse content.

Harmony Project Offers More Than Just Music in LA

National Public Radio

September 26, 2014

With public schools across the country cutting music instruction to save money, the Harmony Project in Los Angeles is trying to make up the difference. The nonprofit offers free music lessons to kids.

Education Outcomes on the Uptick for Latino Students, Report Says

Education Week

September 25, 2014

Latino children continue to trail their non-Latino peers on many measures of academic success, but a new study shows they are gaining ground. The share of Hispanic children attending a center-based, early-childhood education program increased by one-third between 2007 and 2012, while the percentage of Hispanic 8th graders scoring proficient or better on national mathematics exams rose from 8 percent in 2000 to 21 percent in 2014.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

11 Facts for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Pew Research Center

September 25, 2014

National Hispanic Heritage Month began this week to celebrate Latinos and their culture and history. Here are 11 facts that look at Latinos in the U.S. by age, geography and origin groups compiled by the Pew Research Center.

Q&A: The Mis-Education of African-American Girls

National Public Radio

September 25, 2014

We've known for a long time that inequality and systemic educational barriers are holding back many young African-Americans. President Obama has led an initiative to help close the opportunity gap for young black men. But what about the girls? For young women of color, progress has been painfully slow, says a new report from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Women's Law Center. The report argues that gender and racial stereotypes — combined with unequal distribution of school resources and overly punitive disciplinary practices, among other factors — have created a climate where African-American girls are more likely than any other group of girls to be suspended, expelled or held back entirely.

Wichita Schools' Demographics Shifting Toward Greater Racial, Ethnic Diversity

The Wichita Eagle

September 24, 2014

Sarah Hensley's classroom is a snapshot of the world: her 28 students came from 13 countries. In their homes, they speak nine languages. The students are enrolled in the Wichita school district's Newcomers program for recent immigrants and refugees. They also are part of the changing face of schools in the Wichita area and nationwide.

Study: Limited English Speakers Growing Las Vegas Population

Las Vegas Review-Journal

September 24, 2014

The Las Vegas metropolitan area ranked 17th highest in the nation for the number of working-age adults with limited English skills, according to a new study released late Tuesday by the Brookings Institution. The first-of-its-kind study ranked the 89 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas. The study found that almost one in 10 working age U.S. adults — 19.2 million people ages 16 to 64 — have limited proficiency in English.

Festival Highlights Growing Latino Community in Albany, OR

Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)

September 24, 2014

Sofia Nunez, 32, said she is excited and happy to live in Albany, and that the city has changed greatly since she moved here nine years ago from Guanajuato, Mexico. Now there are many more Latino residents and businesses, and the community is more welcoming to Hispanics in town, said Nunez, a mother of three, as a mariachi band played at Monteith Riverpark. On Sunday afternoon, the park was the site of Festival Latino, a celebration and resource fair for Albany’s Hispanic community, which is growing by leaps and bounds.

Two School Districts Share Urban Education Prize

Education Week

September 23, 2014

The school districts in Gwinnett County, Ga., and Orange County, Fla., have won the $1 million Broad Prize, the first time in the contest's dozen years that more than one district was chosen for the annual award recognizing improvements in urban education.

Note: This links to content from Education Week. You can register for free to access 10 Education Week stories a month, or subscribe for unlimited access.

Common Core Can Help English Learners in California, New Study Says

The Hechinger Report

September 23, 2014

The rigorous new Common Core standards represent both a daunting challenge and a promising pathway that could help close the achievement gap for the growing number of American students who enter school knowing little or no English. So concludes a new yearlong study released today by the California-based arm of Education Trust, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group that has repeatedly voiced concern that the new national standards might prove to be an additional burden for students whose native language is not English, particularly those who come from low-income families.