Common Core and ELLs in the News

Hi, everyone!  After all of her hard work this past year, Diane will be taking the month of July off from the blog, but we’ll keep you posted on news from the field as it develops!  Diane will be back in August in time for the new school year.

This has been an interesting couple of weeks in terms of implementing the Common Core with ELLs – an issue that is getting some much needed attention in broader education circles.

Earlier this week, Lesli Maxwell at Education Week reported on a series of technical reviews by the U.S. Department of Education regarding the efforts of the Common Core assessment consortia (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) to meet the needs of ELLs’ and students with disabilities.

According to Lesli, the report states that the two groups need to “devote more time and attention” to both populations and “focus more sharply on developing test items that all students, including those who are still learning English, can fully access regardless of their level of language proficiency.”  Lesli notes that PARCC is a little bit further along in that process, having approved a "first edition" of the accommodations and accessibility policies for ELLs and students with disabilities in June.

In addition, Latino Ed Beat posted today that a new report from the Education Trust, Uneven at the Start,” examines states’ varying degree of preparation for the Common Core, as well as the impact of the standards on low-income, Latino, and black students using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exams.

Latino Ed Beat includes the following news release excerpt from Education Trust president Katy Haycock:

“…Instead of just pretending that the same amount of effort will be required everywhere to get children to the new standards, we need to make sure that the lessons from states that have improved the most for all groups of children inform implementation work more broadly and ensure that struggling states have the extra help they will need to build the forward momentum that is already present elsewhere.”

These reports couldn’t come at a better time to keep that momentum going for ELLs.  What are the Common Core issues regarding ELLs that you’d like to see examined at the state and national level?

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