ELL News Headlines

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Urgent deadline approaches for international college students fighting to stay in U.S.

With an urgent deadline approaching Wednesday, the collective force of California’s three public systems of higher education, which educate nearly 3 million students, have joined the legal fight to stop federal immigration authorities from banning international students from the U.S. if they take only online courses this fall.

The Virus and the Vulnerable: Latino Children Suffer Higher Rates of COVID-19

As COVID-19 ravages California and the nation, the number of children infected is also rising, especially among Latino children. They are testing positive at higher rates than other groups of children, accounting for the majority of all California cases among those under 18. Latino minors make up 67% of the cases where race/ethnicity is known, despite being only 48% of the state’s population of kids.

South suburban schools to start a new school year like no other amid COVID-19 concerns

Monitored bathroom breaks, backpacks instead of lockers, lunch eaten in the classroom instead of the cafeteria. As south and southwest suburban school districts prep for what will certainly be a dramatically different return to the classroom next month, uncertainties loom over how to accommodate social distancing, and activities such as physical education and music will be altered.

These 8 Basic Steps Will Let Us Reopen Schools

In this piece for The Atlantic, former CDC Director Thomas Frieden, and former secretaries of education Arne Duncan and Margaret Spellings, lay out eight steps that could help schools find ways to reopen in the coming year. They write, "If we move too fast, ignore science, or reopen without careful planning, this will backfire. We can reopen if we follow commonsense guidelines...The single most important thing we can do to keep our schools safe has nothing to do with what happens in schools. It’s how well communities control the coronavirus throughout the community."

For the Corona Family, Normal Life Faded Away as COVID-19 Wiped Out Jobs, School and Other Daily Routines They Relied On

For some families, like the Coronas, the next school year will be spent rebuilding what fell apart this year. They’re nervous about the reopenings that have caused virus cases to skyrocket in Texas, but at the same time anxious to go back to work and school. School took a back seat to work for 16-year-old Mia. Still, she made it through the school year. Her 14-year-old sister Aaliyha could not concentrate because of anxiety and frustration and quit logging on to her remote lessons. “I made lots of mistakes. I decided not to do my work or do it last minute,” Aaliyha said. “I decided to do my own thing, which I really regret.” She’s determined to get things back on track next academic year. Spend a day with the Corona family.

Ensuring Access to Educational Materials: Broken Arrow’s Story

The country’s experience with crisis distance learning in the 2019-2020 school year was not always great, nor equitable. However, one school district in suburban Oklahoma worked out a model to help ensure access to educational materials with or without Internet access. As plans take shape for this coming school year, the community business partnership might help leaders and families. New America’s Kristina Ishmael interviews Karla Dyess, Associate Superintendent of Broken Arrow Public Schools in Broken Arrow, OK. In the interview, Dyess talks about how the school district designed curriculum for students to access without the Internet through a community partnership with Wal-Mart. While this model was originally developed to address the challenges of crisis distance learning during the 2019-2020 school year, it may prove useful to other schools in the coming year.

Tips for Working With Classroom Aides

There are 3.2 million teachers in U.S. K-12 schols today. And there are also over 500,000 aides (also known as paraprofessionals) who work in instruction, primarily in early education, with students who have special needs, and with English-language learners. In this post, four educators share tips on how teachers and paraprofessionals can work effectively together, including by maintaining regular daily communication and providing professional-development opportunities.

Congress Urged to Enact Antiracist Education Policies

In light of recent demands for racial justice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP, UnidosUS, and the National Women’s Law Center along with hundreds of other civil rights and education organizations, have written to Congress to again urge decision makers to enact antiracist education policies. Such steps are needed to support the educational success of historically marginalized students, including Black students and other students of color, Native students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ students, religious minorities, sexual assault survivors, and immigrant students, in PK-12 and higher education spaces. The letter included the civil and human rights community’s policy recommendations for achieving justice and equal opportunity in education

What’s in Patty Murray’s $430 Billion Coronavirus Relief Plan for Education?

This week, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA)—the largest proposed congressional relief package for education yet, totaling $430 billion. On top of the $30 billion already provided under the CARES Act, Senator Murray’s bill would infuse an additional $345 billion in stabilization funding for higher education and K–12 schools. Like CARES, funds would be split between three emergency relief funds for Governors ($33 billion), state departments of education ($175 billion), and institutions of higher education ($132 billion). Funds could be used for a number of activities to help districts reopen safely and improve remote learning, in addition to addressing learning loss and students’ social and emotional needs.

Four Key Lessons from District Leaders Tackling the Homework Gap

Last week, New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) convened a number of broadband experts and district leaders to talk through innovative approaches to addressing the ‘homework gap,’ a term that refers to the educational disparities caused by inequitable access to home Internet among preK-12 students. Key takeaways from their conversation: the digital divide is much steeper than we previously thought; there is no one right way to do distance learning; teacher professional development is needed, and there are options for funding it; and E-Rate flexibility is key.