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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!

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Education and the 2014 Election: A Guide to Key Races

Education Week

October 30, 2014

Education is front and center in dozens of federal, state, and local contests in this pivotal midterm election year, with issues such as K-12 funding, teacher collective bargaining rights, and the growing role of the charter sector roiling the campaign landscape. With control of the U.S. Senate hinging on the outcome in a few key showdowns — including North Carolina's expensive battle, where education is a marquee topic — the Nov. 4 results could set the policy template for years to come. Here’s a selection of key contests to watch election night.

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.

Support for Bilingual Education Grows As Population Shifts

Austin American-Statesman

October 30, 2014

The Lake Travis school district implemented two new programs this semester designed to increase the success of Spanish-speaking students. Hispanic students account for almost 20 percent of the student population of the Lake Travis school district. Because the majority of Spanish-speaking families live within the attendance zone of Lake Travis Elementary, the school is home to the district's newly implemented dual language program, the Gomez and Gomez Enrichment Model, applicable from pre-K until fifth grade.

50 Great Teachers: Socrates, The Ancient World's Teaching Superstar

NPR

October 30, 2014

NPR Ed recently kicked off a yearlong series: 50 Great Teachers. We're starting this celebration of teaching with Socrates, the superstar teacher of the ancient world. He was sentenced to death more than 2,400 years ago for "impiety" and "corrupting" the minds of the youth of Athens. But Socrates' ideas helped form the foundation of Western philosophy and the scientific method of inquiry. And his question-and-dialogue-based teaching style lives on in many classrooms as the Socratic method.

Iowa State Attracts Multicultural Students to Campus

Iowa State Daily

October 29, 2014

Multicultural student enrollment has steadily been increasing over the past several years. Kenyatta Shamburger, director of Multicultural Student Affairs, attributes that to the ISU admissions team's recruitment efforts. The total number of minority students in 2009 was 2,532. This year there are nearly 4,000. "As students come, they find that there is support for them here," Shamburger said.

Eleven Civil Rights Groups Urge Obama to Drop Test-Based K-12 ‘Accountability’ System

The Washington Post

October 28, 2014

Eleven national civil rights groups sent a letter Tuesday to President Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and congressional leaders saying that the current standardized test-based "accountability system" for K-12 education ignores "critical supports and services" children need to succeed and discourages "schools from providing a rich curriculum for all students focused on the 21st century skills they need to acquire." The groups make recommendations on how to revamp the system in a way that would improve educational opportunity and equity for students of color.

Six Tribes Receive First Federal Grants to Assume More Control Over Schools

Education Week

October 28, 2014

The Obama administration has awarded a series of small grants to Native American tribes that it says will help spur improvements to the network of federally funded schools that serve tens of thousands of American Indian students.

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.

Regarding Teachers of Color: Boston Public Schools System Is Set to Lead Once Again

The Hechinger Report

October 28, 2014

Guest columnist Tito Jackson is a Boston City Council member who chairs the council's committee on education and serves on a number of other committees and boards. In this piece he writes, "(A) diverse group of highly skilled employees are not only adept at solving problems — they also drive innovation. This is the message that all parties left the City Council's chamber with. In this interconnected world all children, and particularly those who stand at the margins, need a diverse teaching force if they are going to be able to be competitive globally."

Testing Consortium Awards Contract for English-Learner Assessment

Education Week

October 27, 2014

The World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium, one of two groups of states that are designing common-core-aligned English-language proficiency tests, has chosen Data Recognition Corp. to score the new assessment it plans to debut in 2015-16.

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: Why is bilingual education 'good' for rich kids but 'bad' for poor, immigrant students?

The Washington Post

October 27, 2014

If you follow the public debate about bilingual education, you know that there are two basic opposing views. As Yale associate professor of linguistics Claire Bowern writes, "To put it bluntly, bilingualism is often seen as 'good' when it's rich English speakers adding a language as a hobby or another international language, but 'bad' when it involves poor, minority, or indigenous groups adding English to their first language, even when the same two languages are involved."

An American School Immerses Itself in All Things Chinese

The New York Times

October 27, 2014

On weekday mornings, a stream of orange buses and private cars from 75 Minnesota postal codes wrap around Yinghua Academy, the first publicly funded Chinese-immersion charter school in the United States, in the middle-class neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis. Most pupils, from kindergarten to eighth grade, dash to bright-colored classrooms for the 8:45 a.m. bell, eager to begin "morning meeting," a freewheeling conversation in colloquial Mandarin.

New York To Review Districts' Enrollment Policies for Unaccompanied Minors

Education Week

October 24, 2014

New York state officials are launching a compliance review of school districts' enrollment policies and procedures for unaccompanied minors and other undocumented students to see if children are being denied their constitutional right to an 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.

From a Rwandan Dump to the Halls of Harvard

The New York Times

October 24, 2014

Nine years old and orphaned by ethnic genocide, he was living in a burned-out car in a Rwandan garbage dump where he scavenged for food and clothes. Daytimes, he was a street beggar. He had not bathed in more than a year. When an American charity worker, Clare Effiong, visited the dump one Sunday, other children scattered. Filthy and hungry, Justus Uwayesu stayed put, and she asked him why. "I want to go to school," he replied. Well, he got his wish. This autumn, Mr. Uwayesu enrolled as a freshman at Harvard University on a full-scholarship, studying math, economics and human rights, and aiming for an advanced science degree.

The Power to Perceive: Paul Fleischman Shines a Light on the Environmental Crisis

School Library Journal

October 24, 2014

Though many authors have taken on environmental issues, few have done so as effectively — and innovatively — as Newbery Award–winning author Paul Flesichman in Eyes Wide Open (Candlewick, 2014). Rather than simply offering the typical, kid-friendly ways to save the Earth, the book explores the political and economic roots of the ecological crisis, addressing not just the scientific but the social. Fleischman has written an empowering call to action, stirring young people to challenge assumptions, examine the biases of companies and politicians, and, ultimately, think for themselves.

Weingarten: Four Solutions to Public School Problems

Education Week

October 23, 2014

In this commentary for Education Week, Randi Weingarten writes, "A high-quality public education should include art and music, nurses and guidance counselors, sports and extracurricular activities. Yet, too often, kids are getting the bare minimum — this, when many public school children are living in poverty."

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.

We Need Diverse Books and School Library Journal Announce Collaboration

School Library Journal

October 23, 2014

We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) has announced its collaboration with School Library Journal on a variety of initiatives concerning diversity in children's literature. The partnership will include sponsorship and collaborative programming of a diversity-focused event to be held in association with the 2016 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Boston; content sharing and support for the We Need Diverse Books Diversity Festival to be held in summer 2016 in the Washington, DC, area; and joint development of an Education Kit to introduce teachers, librarians, and booksellers to select diverse books and provide them with tools to present these titles to their patrons and students.

Study: Half of California's Children Are Latino, 94% of Whom Are U.S. Citizens

California Healthline

October 23, 2014

A study released Tuesday on Latino children's health in California found that 94% of Latino children in the state were born in the U.S., which may have policy implications in the next legislative session when the issue of health coverage for the undocumented will be debated.

Requirements Keep Young Immigrants Out of Long Island Classrooms

The New York Times

October 22, 2014

Before dawn breaks and the morning light spills onto his bedroom floor, Carlos Garcia Lobo bounces out of bed, his eyes alight with anticipation, and asks his mother if he can go to school. Each time, she replies to her 8-year-old son: Not yet. Four months after fleeing Honduras with a 15-year-old cousin, Carlos has reached what his family said seemed like an impassable frontier. Like dozens of the roughly 2,500 unaccompanied immigrant children who have been released to relatives or other sponsors on Long Island so far this year, Carlos has been unable to register for school.

Georgia's Preschool Providers to Learn How to Better Support English-Learners

Education Week

October 22, 2014

Helping Georgia preschool and early-care providers support children who are learning English is the aim of a new training initiative by the state agency that oversees early-childhood education. The effort seeks to help early-childhood practitioners develop the skills and knowledge necessary to identify young English-language learners and support their English-language development in order to boost school readiness. Supporting children's home-language development will also be a major focus of the new training for practitioners and school district personnel.

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.

Diversity Group Announces Walter Dean Myers Award and Grants

Publishers Weekly

October 22, 2014

We Need Diverse Books, the grassroots group of authors and others that coalesced around the lack of diversity in BookCon's initial children's author lineup this past spring, continues to advocate for more diversity in contemporary children's literature by introducing new initiatives. The organization announced exclusively to PW this week that it is launching an award and grants program in 2015. Also, Walter Dean Myers's literary estate has granted WNDB the rights to name the award and grants in memory of the late children's book writer, who was outspoken in his lifelong advocacy for multicultural children's books.

School District on Long Island Is Told It Must Teach Immigrants

The New York Times

October 21, 2014

Responding to complaints from dozens of Hispanic children who said they had been barred from public school classes on Long Island, the state on Friday issued new legal guidance regarding enrollment procedures, exhorting school districts to comply with federal law by allowing undocumented immigrant children to begin classes.