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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Picture Books That Bring Black Heroes to Life

African-American picture books have always been successful at capturing the breadth, depth and beauty of the black experience, allowing children to gain much-needed access to the strong legacy and vibrant history of African-American art and storytelling. But how we present this story is always undergoing revision and refinement, as four new books — from a closer view of plantation life to a visually rich depiction of the history of hip-hop — show. In these books, word and art combine to give us fresh insight into the lives, creativity and achievements of a truly resilient and profound people.

OPINION: How one school came together to create a safe place for immigrants

Jordan Weymer is principal of the Donald McKay K-8 School. In this op-ed, Jordan writes, "Every child deserves a high-quality education that recognizes and respects his or her dignity and humanity, and that relishes in the stories of school and community. That's why teachers and schools like ours across the country are doing their life's work, nurturing the dreams of students in the heart of an immigrant community."

Strike over: Denver school district, teachers union signed tentative pact

The Denver school district and teachers union have reached an agreement in their long-simmering dispute over teacher pay, ending a strike as it entered its fourth day. The tentative deal gives teachers significant raises and a more traditional pay system, while keeping incentives for teachers at high-poverty schools that the district believes are essential.

California governor taps renowned educator Linda Darling-Hammond to head state Board of Education

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) just tapped Linda Darling-Hammond, a giant in the world of education, to head the 11-member state Board of Education. During his first State of the State address Tuesday, Newsom announced that Darling-Hammond would work alongside the newly elected state superintendent, Tony Thurmond, to help "confront" problems plaguing California's public schools.

Review: Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich

Debbie Reese reviews the new book "Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich", whose testimony led to the passing of the Alaska Anti-Discrimination Act, America’s first civil rights legislation. Today, Alaska celebrates Elizabeth Peratrovich Day every February 16, and she will be honored on the gold one-dollar coin in 2020.

Schools in England Introduce a New Subject: Mindfulness

Students in England already learn about mathematics, science and history, but hundreds of schools are preparing to expand the traditional curriculum with a new subject: mindfulness. In up to 370 English schools, students will start to practice mindfulness as part of a study to improve youth mental health, the British government said on Monday. They will work with mental health experts to learn relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and other methods to “help them regulate their emotions,” the government said in a news release announcing the program.

Baltimore County schools are rapidly adding students. More than half are immigrants or speak another language.

Baltimore County's school system is absorbing a wave of immigrants that has fueled rising enrollments the past few years, adding thousands of students who teachers say are enriching their schools but also stretching the system to find additional seats and new ways to teach them. While the largest number of foreign-born students are from Central America, the newcomers are from around the world. The second-most commonly spoken foreign language in Baltimore County schools after Spanish is Yoruba, a language of Nigeria. Across the system, students come from 116 countries and speak 97 different languages.

Undergraduate students engage with Latino farmworker community through course

Because of significant labor shortages, Pennsylvania's dairy farms rely on Spanish-speaking immigrants as a key source of labor. However, cultural differences and language barriers can leave employers and workers lost in translation, affecting workers' well-being and community connection, and ultimately, farm viability. A new, innovative community service-learning course — "Service-Learning with Pennsylvania Farmworkers" — offered by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is aimed at breaking down those barriers.