ELL News Headlines

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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Government watchdog details psychological trauma among migrant children separated from families

It was the summer of 2018, and facilities that housed unaccompanied migrant children were facing a crisis. As the Trump administration rolled out its "zero tolerance" immigration policy, the facilities were asked to detain and care for children who were younger than those they typically held and were enduring trauma staff members were unprepared to address: forced separation from their parents. "The little ones don't know how to express what they are feeling, what has happened. Communication is limited and difficult. They need more attention," one program director told investigators with the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG). The agency recounted problems caused by the short-lived "zero tolerance" policy in a pair of reports released Wednesday.

How chef José Andrés is working to feed the storm-stricken Bahamas

The devastation in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian is unprecedented and catastrophic. Although homes, roadways and some airports remain submerged, chef José Andrés has traveled to the territory with his nonprofit organization, World Central Kitchen, on a mission to feed the victims of the disaster. He spoke with Judy Woodruff about why the islands are so vulnerable and how Americans can help.

How to Help Hurricane Dorian Survivors in the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane on Sunday and stalled over the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island for two days. The destructive winds, torrential rains and relentless flooding has likely destroyed more than 10,000 homes and wiped out much of the infrastructure, especially in the Abacos. Aid experts say there will be immediate emergency needs before the long, arduous task of rebuilding begins.

Taking a Closer Look at the English Learners’ Passing Rates on Virginia State Exams

The numbers appeared troubling. During the 2016-2017 school year, 64 percent of English-language learners who took state reading exams in Virginia passed, according to state data. Two years later, passing rates plunged to 35 percent. But the numbers didn't paint a complete picture. Previously, Virginia education officials included the scores of those former English-language learners in their calculation of overall passing rates, for up to two years after the student was no longer classified as an English-language learner. That had the effect of inflating the passing rate for that group of students overall.

In Flint, Schools Overwhelmed by Special Ed. Needs in Aftermath of Lead Crisis

Years after reports surfaced of alarmingly high lead levels in the water system, the toll of the crisis is becoming clear: At least 1 in 5 students in Flint's public schools are eligible for special education—and the school system is buckling under the weight of federal requirements and costs for providing programs and services. The percentage of special education students has increased by 56 percent, rising from 13.1 percent in 2012-13, the school year before the water crisis began, to 20.5 percent last school year.

Highly Recommended: 'THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE'

Debbie Reese shares her review for THANKU: Poems of Gratitude. This poetry anthology, illustrated by Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscokee Creek) and edited by Miranda Paul, explores a wide range of ways to be grateful (from gratitude for a puppy to gratitude for family to gratitude for the sky) with poems by a diverse group of contributors, including Joseph Bruchac, Margarita Engle, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Waters, Jane Yolen, and Kimberly Blaeser.