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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WCCUSD to Open Mandarin Chinese Immersion School for Kindergarten

Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, and this fall, West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) kindergartners will be both speaking and learning it. On February 15, the WCCUSD Board of Education approved a new Mandarin dual-immersion school that will open for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Educator's Pre-Veterinary Program Sends Navajo Students to College

Here in the northeastern corner of Arizona, on an arid plain edged with sandy orange spires and pine-dotted mesas, teenagers have a rare opportunity to practice what policy wonks preach: to study academics through a lens that matters to them. A keen sense of relevance, and of community service, runs deep in students’ work here, where many Navajo families depend on livestock for their livelihood.

TED Talks Announces “TED en Español”

TED Talks announced today they were going to have their first TED Talks program in Spanish, TED en Español, which will include journalist Jorge Ramos. The same announcement shared a number of Spanish-language initiatives TED-Talks is undertaking, including Spanish-language versions of their popular TED-Ed video animations.

Helping Immigrant Students Catch Up, Fast — It Takes a Whole School

Even in a bean bag chair, 15-year-old Michelle sits up straight. With her hands on her knees, she looks down at the ground, smiling as she talks about her dreams of being a writer and a military doctor. As a high school freshman, Michelle is already accomplishing a lot: She's president of the student government association at the International High School at Langley Park.  She also writes for the school newspaper and plays basketball. Michelle came to the U.S. two and a half years ago from Puebla, Mexico. For many immigrant students, the trauma of crossing the border follows them into the classroom — affecting their performance and ability to learn. And that's where Michelle's school comes in.

With White House Backing, Senate Overturns ESSA Accountability Rules

The Senate on Thursday voted 50-49 to block the accountability rules for the Every Student Succeeds Act created by the Obama administration.  Without the rules, the requirements for accountability and state plans will be found in the language of ESSA itself. The Obama-era accountability rules, finalized late last year, set ground rules for how schools must be rated for school-improvement purposes, specified the requirements of (and flexibility for) states dealing with high testing opt-out rates in individual schools, and outlined how states would have to handle the "school quality" indicator in accountability systems. Chris Minnich, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, said that irrespective of the ESSA regulations' fate, states "just want certainty about how to proceed" as they finalize plans for ESSA.

Faced With Outsized Stresses, These Baltimore Students Learn to Take a Deep Breath

Violent crime and unemployment rates are nearly twice the national average in Baltimore. Educators say factors like these add significant stress to children, causing emotional and behavioral problems, so several public schools are working to reduce that stress with mindfulness and meditation. Hari Sreenivasan reports.

San Antonio Central Library's Latino Collection Is Finally Getting Its Due

For more than two decades, San Antonio’s Latino literary community has advocated, sometimes with little support, for a public space that celebrates the city's deep Latino literary traditions. Now they will have that space at the Central Library's new Latino Collection and Resource Center.

Educators Prepare for Immigration Agents at the Schoolhouse

In January, New York City's schools chancellor, Carmen Fariña, sent a letter home to students' families, reassuring them that the city was not keeping records of their immigration status and that immigration agents would not be roaming schools unfettered. But that has not kept the questions from coming, said Maite Junco, a senior adviser at the city's Education Department.

A Teacher's Pursuit of Imperfection

In this essay for Education Week, Justin Minkel writes, "I became a teacher 15 years ago. Subtracting the years I was a stay-at-home dad, I have taught over 2,000 days. Not one of them was perfect. There were moments of magic, joy, laughter, and plenty of love. But there were always imperfections…The mistakes are part of the joy. The sloppiness is part of the humanity. A classroom should be a messy, vibrant place where the unexpected is woven into the fabric of each day, where slips, stumbles, and blunders abound—along with moments of grace and the unpredictable brilliance of children."

Denver Public Schools Is Identifying More Students of Color as Highly Gifted, But Big Disparities Remain

In the second year of an effort to provide students of color greater access to Denver Public Schools' magnet programs for highly gifted students, white and Asian students continue to be over-identified and Hispanic and black students continue to be under-identified. The district did see a small bump in the percentage of black students identified as highly gifted after testing this year. But the percentage of Hispanic students identified — after a sizable jump in the first year of universal testing — stayed flat.