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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City University of New York Program Plumbs for Elites Among Immigrants

After completing a freshman seminar about immigration in New York, Anita Sonawane, a brainy undergraduate who happens to be a New York immigrant, had a transformative aha moment. It was something the professor said. "Oh, come on, Anita, you know you're not going to be a doctor," Jeff Maskovsky, an urban studies professor at Queens College, told her, hoping to challenge the idea that the only way to succeed in America was to practice medicine.

A Lost Boy of Sudan Graduates from Community College, His American Dream

Life has taken David Ghai from a burning village to a refugee camp, from war-torn Sudan to the United States, and now, after four years of study, across the graduation stage at Florida's Pasco-Hernando Community College. It was a slow climb for Ghai, who was in his early 20s when he arrived in 2003 with the second wave of Sudanese Lost Boys brought to the Tampa Bay area by the humanitarian aid group World Relief.

Two Students First in Their Families to Finish High School

The word "first" is often associated with graduations. Herbert Rosales and Fatima Rodriguez from Frederick, MD are proud for being first in their families to graduate from high school, and the students credit their parents for their journey to the big day.

Budget Plans for Voucher Schools Raise Complaints

A requirement that some Milwaukee voucher schools switch to bilingual teaching programs is among items in the pending state budget bill that are catching criticism from voucher advocates. The bilingual rule was inserted late in the process at the initiative of state Rep. Pedro Colon, D-Milwaukee. The budget includes a cut of 2.5 percent per student in voucher funding. The state also would cut aid to public schools by 2.5 percent.

Mass. Study Examines Hispanic Diversity

In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "A study of how Hispanic 10th graders are performing on mathematics and English-language arts tests in Massachusetts compares the test scores of various subgroups of Hispanic students. It also compares Hispanic students in general with non-Hispanic students."

For Latino Parents, Raising Autistic Child Has Complex Barriers

Six weeks ago, the Ortizes read in the local paper about a talk in Spanish for Latino parents of children with autism held at the library in downtown Framingham, MA. They were thrilled. Since they moved to Framingham from their native Puerto Rico in 1998 looking for help for their then- 3-year-old daughter Yamilex, they have yearned to connect with other Latino parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). They were disappointed when they realized they were the only ones who attended the talk.

Opinion: The Straight Story on Sotomayor

Tony Marcano is the senior editor of NPR's <em>Weekend Edition</em>. In this essay, he writes about the neighborhood where both he and Judge Sonia Sotomayor grew up: "I never thought I'd have much in common with a potential Supreme Court justice. I grew up down the block from Sonia Sotomayor — she was in the Bronxdale Houses, which abut the north side of the Bruckner Expressway in New York; I was in the James Monroe housing project, a few hundred yards to the south."

Room 10A at Davis High School Helps Students Learn in Their Natural Language

At first glimpse, Room 10A at Davis High School seems like any other classroom. But a closer look reveals something else. Walls are draped with Mexican maps and tapestries. Standing before about two dozen students, teacher Jorge Herrera jots algebraic equations on a large wall monitor as he gives instruction in Spanish. Students listen attentively before firing back with questions in Spanish. Welcome to the school's CONEVyT portal, an online program developed by the Mexican government, adopted by the Yakima School District three years ago and now gaining converts across the state.

Immigrant from Africa Blossoms into Honor Student at Greece Athena

In 2001, Marius "Mimi" Kothor was a shy fifth-grader struggling to adapt to an unfamiliar new culture and keep up with schoolwork at Rochester's Holy Family School. She'd had no formal education before coming to the United States. She could speak some English but couldn't read a word. Understanding mathematics seemed beyond her grasp. Now 18, bubbly and energetic, Mimi is looking forward to her last few weeks of high school. She will graduate with honors from Greece Athena High School on June 27, becoming the first female in her family to ever complete high school.

California Lawmakers Hear Pleas Not to Further Slash Education

As the state weighs cutting about $8.1 billion from public schools, colleges and universities, scores of educators, parents, students and others told lawmakers Monday that such reductions would jeopardize student success and safety in the short term and California's prosperity in the long term.