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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Building a BRIDGE

A new program is bolstering bilingual education at the former Housatonic Elementary School building. BRIDGE, short for Berkshire Resources for the Integration of Diverse Groups and Education, provides cultural competency training to town employees when the program was threatened by budget cuts. The training is designed to familiarize personnel with a growing immigrant population.

Different Teams, Common Goals

The Uighurs eased their cars into George Mason University's Lot I, as they do most Sundays. They dropped their bags on the edge of a field and pulled on cleats and blue shirts. The Kurds arrived soon after. They slapped hands with the Uighurs and exchanged greetings: "Hey," they said, "Salam-u aleikum." A few from both sides knelt on the field to pray. Then it was time to play.

Innovation: Teacher House Calls

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "<a href="http://www.teachermagazine.org/tm/articles/2009/08/05/tln_ferlazzo.html?... target="_blank">An article</a> by Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher of English-language learners at Luther Burbank High School in California, published today by Teacher Magazine is not only about Ferlazzo's experiences in visiting the homes of some of his students. It's also about how the Sacramento City Unified School District has partnered with its local teachers' union to support visits of teachers districtwide to their students' homes."

Americorps Programs Receive Grants for Community Services

Gov. Bev Perdue has announced that the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service has awarded more than $3.8 million in grants to 12 AmeriCorps programs across the state for the 2009-2010 program year. AmeriCorps members serving with these organizations will assist in community outreach and education efforts, provide conservation services, participate in mentoring programs, and work in other service activities, particularly in immigrant and refugee communities.

Scholar: Early Education Makes All the Difference

University of Chicago professor James Heckman is one of the nation's leading proponents of early childhood education. Heckman bases his advocacy on the belief that investing in children from birth through five years of age is essential and pays enormous dividends. The educator explains his theory and how he thinks schools can help children build a healthy foundation for life.

White House Official Holds 'Community Conversations' About Hispanic Education

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan isn't the only high-level staffer in the Obama administration who is taking listening tours. Juan Sepulveda, the director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, recently traveled to Kansas City to learn about ways the administration can improve schooling for Hispanics, according to the <em>Kansas City Star</em>."

Summer Work Program Helps Asian Immigrants Get Acclimated

Yau Chong, 21, stands in a computer lab in Quincy High School and supervises eight Asian students who speak very little English. Chong didn't speak English when he moved to America from Hong Kong five years ago. He is now entering his senior year at Bentley College and will graduate in May with a degree in finance and economics. Chong is just one member of the summer youth employment program run by Quincy Asian Resources.

Dropout Rate Declines Almost 17% in L.A. Schools

The dropout rate in the Los Angeles Unified School District declined almost 17% — welcome news in a school system beleaguered by budget cuts and ongoing battles over future reforms.

Editorial: ELLs Are Not Served Well by Current Testing Practices

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "The unintended consequences of high-stakes testing and accountability systems for English-language learners outweigh any benefits that standardized tests might have for such students, Marcelo Suarez-Orozco and Carola Suarez-Orozco argue in a on-line collection of commentaries on standardized testing published by the <em>New York Times</em> this week."

New French Program to Begin in Queens

Parents and teachers at P.S. 151 in Woodside, Queens are enthusiastically anticipating a new French dual-language program for students in grades Kindergarten and one. This will be the first French dual-language program in Queens.