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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.

Out of the Shadows, TV Star Shines a Light on Immigration

NPR

March 27, 2015

On Capitol Hill, the immigration debate is a political story. But for millions of people across the country, it is something deeper. "This is not a political issue; it is a human issue," says Diane Guerrero. "Me and my parents were a family, and now we're not. We're separated." The American-born actress, now known for her roles in Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, was 14 years old when her parents and older brother were deported to Colombia.

Carlsbad Schools Expand Libraries, Purchase Spanish Books

Current-Argus (NM)

March 27, 2015

More money from the school district means better book selection and the addition of Spanish libraries in Carlsbad schools. The district budgeted a total of $146,260 for new library books this year, which comes to approximately one new book per student in the district, a significant increase from previous years, when each principal determined their own library budget.

State Will Allow Controversial Hola Charter School Expansion

NewJersey.com

March 26, 2015

A controversial charter school expansion has been green-lighted by the state despite opposition from the Hoboken public school district. New Jersey Education Commissioner David Hespe granted an expansion and charter renewal in a March 20 letter to Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) Board of Trustees President Barbara Martinez.

New Sites Set for Gifted, Limited-English Students

The Columbus Dispatch (OH)

March 26, 2015

Potentially thousands of Columbus City Schools limited-English and gifted students will be on the move in the fall under a major building reshuffling announced yesterday. The former Brookhaven High School on the North Side, which closed last fall, will become the new home to the district's Global Academy, giving the over-crowded and fast-growing program substantially more space for a program that would serve more than 600 students with limited English-language skills.

Couple Holds Benefit for Immigrant in Schenectady

Albany Times-Union

March 26, 2015

Lucio Gutierrez, 20, grew up in a region of Mexico where political conflict is constant and a paramilitary group controls the area with threats and violence. Now a teacher in the New York State Migrant Education Program and his wife are relying on the generosity of friends and strangers alike to help foot the legal bill of becoming Gutierrez's legal guardians before he turns 21, the legal cutoff, in October.

Opinion: Oregon Needs English Language Learner Reform

The Oregonian

March 25, 2015

In this column, three members of the Oregon Alliance for Education Equity respond to a recent article detailing progress in instruction for Oregon's ELLs. They write, "Despite the few bright spots in districts covered in the article, data shows that our current ELL education system is broken for far too many of our children. We only manage to graduate 49 percent of our ELL students, and nearly a quarter (23 percent) of students have been in language development programs for more than five years."

Women's Groups Campaign in D.C. to Help Young Victims of Forced Marriages

The Washington Post

March 25, 2015

Mariam was a sixth-grader in Toronto when her family started pressuring her to get engaged. They sent her on a summer trip to their native Pakistan, ostensibly to study but actually to meet a fiance chosen by her aunt. When she protested after returning home, she said, her mother kept insisting and wearing her down. Today, Mariam is active in a growing movement in the United States and Canada to promote public awareness and legal protections for victims of forced marriage.

Grant Helps English Language Center Serve Community in Chattanooga

The Chattanoogan (TN)

March 25, 2015

Lee University's English Language Center has been able to make a bigger impact on the community than ever before, due to a grant received from the Athens Federal Foundation in fall 2014. The adult ESL class currently meets every semester on Thursday evenings, with a week-long language camp program for children in the summer and a class for the children of the Thursday night ESL students.

Number of Libraries Dwindles in N.Y.C. Schools

Education Week

March 24, 2015

In a nation where traditional school libraries are shrinking in number or morphing into computer labs or digital media centers, the declines in library services in New York City's public schools are more precipitous than most, experts say. The number of school libraries in the city has plummeted — from nearly 1,500 in 2005 to fewer than 700 in 2014; the biggest drops have come in the past three years, according to the New York state education department. The libraries that do exist are so severely understaffed that the state education department in 2013 ordered the city to hire more librarians.

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.

Texas High School Graduation Rates Both Impress and Alarm

KERA News

March 24, 2015

When it comes to state by state education rankings, Texas often lands near the bottom. Yet, numbers released this week by the National Center for Education Statistics showed Texas at the top of the class in the graduation rates for black and Latino high school students. And it's tied for second in the overall graduation rate. This year's numbers sparked a familiar debate.

Huguenot High School Holds Parent ESL Workshop

CBS 6 (VA)

March 24, 2015

Richmond Public School officials launched a monthly workshop last year designed to educate parents with limited English on how to increase their participation in the classroom. "It makes all the difference between a child dropping out and graduating," said Ashleigh Ramos, parent liaison.

Districts Work With Families to Curb Pre-K Absenteeism

Education Week

March 23, 2015

Cities are pouring millions of dollars into early-education programs, often aimed at their neediest young children. But many of those children aren't showing up. As policymakers push to expand access to high-quality early education, those who work with student attendance urge equal attention to ensuring the children most likely to benefit from preschool actually show up regularly enough to do so.

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.

Virginia State Leaders Meet with Latino Students

NCB 29 (VA)

March 23, 2015

State leaders met with Latino students at Monticello High School Friday morning to talk about the struggles they're facing. Governor McAuliffe's education subcommittee of the Latino Advisory Committee met for the first time in Albemarle County. The group heard about student's concerns, like dropout rates, family engagement, and financial access to college.

Column: Latino Immigrants Bring Youth, Energy to U.S. Culture, Economy

Los Angeles Daily News

March 23, 2015

It can be informative, sometimes sobering, to catch a glimpse of ourselves as others see us. That's certainly the case with the current Economist's persuasively clear-eyed and overwhelmingly positive 16-page appraisal of America's 57 million Latino immigrants, the overwhelming majority of them — 48 million — legally residents…"America has been granted an extraordinary stroke of luck: a big dose of youth and energy, just as its global competitors are greying. Making the most of this chance will take pragmatism and goodwill. Get it right, and a diverse, outward-facing America will have much to teach the world."

Bilingual Babies Practice Lip-Reading Long Before Monolingual Counterparts

Public Radio International

March 20, 2015

Babies raised in bilingual households spend significantly more time watching the mouth of the person speaking to them than their monolingual counterparts, according to a new study.

Where are Fort Hunt Spanish Immersion graduates now?

Connection Newspapers (VA)

March 20, 2015

Many graduates of the Fort Hunt Spanish immersion program have continued learning the language through middle and high school. Some have gone on to study abroad in Spanish language countries, while others found the language to be helpful in their careers.

New App: The New Immigrants NYC 1880-1924

School Library Journal

March 20, 2015

New York City's Department of Education has partnered with four cultural institutions — the National Archives at New York City, the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum — to gather and curate an extraordinary collection of 100-plus primary and secondary sources and images related to the second wave of wave of U.S. immigration in The New Immigrants NYC 1880-1924. The app was designed for teachers to use with students, but will be appreciated by anyone interested in early 20th-century American history.

Common Core Means 3 Tests in 3 Years for Michigan Kids

NPR

March 19, 2015

Partisan bickering over the Common Core has pushed Michigan legislators in recent years to freeze — then unfreeze — spending on the new learning standards. They've banished the new exam that education officials had been planning to introduce this year and forced the creation of a second new test for 2015 — and a third one for 2016. The transition is especially tough in Michigan, where political one-upmanship has made it likely that students here will take three different state exams in three years.

Urban Charters, Districts Serve Equal Numbers of ELLs, Study Finds

Education Week

March 19, 2015

Nationally, urban charter schools are significantly out-performing their district counterparts in both reading and math, according to a new study from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, or CREDO. The report, released Wednesday, also shows that for the most part, urban charter and district schools are serving equal numbers of English-language learners as well as students in poverty and special education. But dig a little deeper, CREDO researchers say, and you'll find charter quality still remains a patchwork across the country with pockets of poorly performing areas.

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.

Commentary: Teachers Can't Transform Urban Schools Without Studying Communities

The Hechinger Report

March 19, 2015

Dr. Etta Hollins is professor and the Kauffman Endowed Chair for Urban Teacher Education at the School of Education at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. In this keynote made at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, she writes, "The teachers' work is much harder when the child comes from a different experiential background than their own. Notice that I am not saying we cannot teach students different from ourselves. I am saying that we have to pay attention to these differences."