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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Children's Book Awards Highlight Race — and Politics

The American Library Association Youth Media Awards, announced on Monday at the A.L.A.'s midwinter conference in Atlanta, were given to books published in 2016, a year in which sales of children's books were strong, continuing to outpace books for adults. The winning titles reflected a vibrant and increasingly expansive children's books landscape, and many had both direct and indirect political themes at the heart of their stories.

District 47 Program Encourages Latino Parents to Become Leaders in School Community

School District 47 parent Candido Rodriguez wanted to get more involved in his son's education. Then he heard about District 47's Bilingual Parent Leadership Academy, a program designed to encourage Latino families to become leaders in the school community and become more involved in the student learning process.

As Trump Weighs Fate of Immigrant Students, Schools Ponder Their Roles

As President Donald Trump weighs the fate of undocumented youth brought to the United States as children, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of K-12 children and the educators who serve them are bracing for upheaval. Denver schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg issued a joint statement on Thursday with officials from the Denver teachers' union, Padres & Jóvenes Unidos, a children's advocacy group, and the Colorado Education Association to denounce the moves. "Immigrant and refugee students, families, educators, and staff are precious members of our Denver school communities and we greatly value them for the contributions they make to our schools and communities. We will do everything in our individual and collective power to protect them from deportation, criminalization, intimidation and harassment," the statement read in part.

Bilingual School Staff Who Want to Teach Face Bureaucratic, Financial Barriers

Multilingual paraprofessionals—an untapped talent pool that could help address the nation's shortage of bilingual K-12 educators—face bureaucratic, financial, and linguistic barriers that make it tough to earn teaching credentials, a new report concludes. New America released the report, "Teacher Talent Untapped: Multilingual Paraprofessionals Speak About the Barriers to Entering the Profession," roughly six months after unveiling a study that outlined how the paraprofessionals could help address the shortage.

Harlem Schools Are Left to Fail as Those Not Far Away Thrive

Unlike in many parts of New York City, in Community School District 3 — which runs from 59th Street to 122nd Street along Manhattan's western flank, then takes a dogleg into Harlem — people from different races and socioeconomic levels often live near one another. The district's schools, however, are sharply divided by race and income, and diverge just as sharply in their levels of academic achievement. Nowhere is that tale of two districts clearer than in Harlem.

D65 Board Passes Resolution Declaring District a 'Safe Haven' for Immigrant Students

Following the precedent set by Evanston Township High School District 202 last week, the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 board voted unanimously on Monday to declare D65 a "safe haven school district." The D65 resolution was drafted in conjunction with the ETHS resolution and uses a lot of the same wording, emphasizing a commitment to the inclusion of all students regardless of any potential barriers to educational access, district superintendent Paul Goren said.

Teaching New York City Children to Read in English, Even When Their Parents Can't

In her new role as a "literacy coach," Jennifer Aaron is trying to improve reading in a struggling South Bronx elementary school where only 13% of children last year passed state tests in English language arts. Family engagement is a key piece of Mayor Bill de Blasio's push to get all children, by 2026, to read by the end of second grade. Dr. Aaron is one of 103 literacy coaches dispatched this academic year to improve instruction in low-performing schools and to get families involved. Officials plan to post a full-time coach in every public elementary school by fall 2018. Skeptics say it will be hard to make significant strides without smaller classes, more consistent quality among teachers, a stronger curriculum and more services for the disabled. But city Department of Education officials say they are optimistic that the literacy coaches will boost achievement by modeling lessons for teachers, giving feedback on teachers' techniques and working with families.

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