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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L.A.'s Urban Schools Hardest Hit by Teacher Layoffs

California's budget problems mean that thousands of public school teachers are being laid off in the city of Los Angeles. Urban, low-income schools are the hardest hit because they have the greatest number of beginning teachers. For example, at John Liechty Middle School, created not long ago as a shining example of innovative education, more than half of the teachers are being laid off.

Success at Small Schools Has a Price, a Report Says

Replacing large, poor-performing high schools with smaller schools in New York City has led to lower attendance and graduation rates at other large high schools, which have struggled to accommodate influxes of high-needs students, according to a report to be released on Wednesday.

Case Studies: How the Closing of Two Brooklyn High Schools Affected ELLs

In her Learning the Language Blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "Advocates for Children of New York and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund released a report today contending that English-language learners were not well served by the break up of two Brooklyn high schools into smaller schools. As the New York City Department of Education continues to close large schools and replace them with smaller ones, 'ELL students — who experience some of the lowest graduation rates in the city — are left with fewer and fewer options or are simply left behind,' the report argues."

School for the Whole Family

A kindergarten teacher talks to a mom and her children, while a speech pathologist — sitting on the floor — plays with a group of preschoolers, stacking blocks. A clutch of fathers stand to the side, discussing their sons. If adults need advice on anything, from parenting to employment to nutrition, it's available all day, any day. They can also take ESL classes or learn to use email, even during summer months. Lancaster Public School in Ontario is one of the Peel District School Board's four "hubs," a model hailed in a provincial early learning report released Monday.

As State Cuts Funding, More Districts Turn to Voters

Facing multibillion-dollar state funding cuts, school districts across California are asking residents to tax themselves to fund local schools. Parcel taxes — some topping $2,000 annually per family — have been proposed this year from Sebastopol to San Marino. Residents in Palos Verdes, South Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, Rowland Heights and several other communities are currently voting by mail as their districts grapple with the possibility of teacher layoffs, ballooning class sizes, summer school cancellations and reduced art and music programs.

Active Summer, Active Minds

It's called "the summer brain drain" because during those long, hot months away from school, kids supposedly forget a lot of what they had learned in class. Research, however, tells a more nuanced story: Some learning is lost among some groups, and others gain.

Schools Provide Fun, Safe Alternatives for Students During Summer

It's a very different kind of summer vacation for hundreds of students in New Orleans public schools. For several weeks, many are voluntarily taking part in a variety of academic and enrichment programs, including some students taking English as a second language at Ben Franklin Elementary School. Whether they come from Chinese, Hispanic, Vietnamese or Arabic backgrounds, students were selected by test scores or through teacher recommendation to get a little extra help as they try to learn the English language through activities and classroom instruction.

Preschoolers, Parents Graduate from ACLAMO Literacy Program

Recently the ACLAMO English as a Second Language (ESL) Family Literacy Program in Norristown, PA celebrated the graduation of nine preschool students from the early learning program along with their accompanying mothers, who graduated from the adult/parent education program. ACLAMO's program is ranked the second in the state for family literacy. Participants meet three to four mornings during the week and strives to educate Latino preschool students and their parents about the English language and American culture.

Ed. Groups in California Sue Over Lack of Monitoring for ELLs and Others

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "A number of education organizations in California filed a lawsuit in a state court today alleging that California is violating federal laws and the state constitution by suspending the monitoring of specialized education programs for at least one year…The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco against the state, says programs that won't be reviewed include those serving students who are English-language learners, migrants, neglected or delinquent, or homeless."

Deported With a Diploma

On Aug. 24, a few short weeks after graduating from high school in Harrisonburg, VA, Maria Martinez will be voluntarily deported. She will be the only one in her family to make the exit from America. "My mom is legal, my brothers are legal, my sisters are legal. Everyone is legal but me," said Maria, 19. "I'm alone." Earlier this week, Maria sat down with the Daily News-Record for about an hour to talk about her life as an illegal immigrant. Maria was in a unique position to talk on the record about her experience because immigration officials already know about her status.