In her Learning the Language blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "The Center for American Progress is promoting expanded learning time for English-language learners with a report that features several case studies of schools that have extended the school day or year. 'It's common sense' that extra learning time can be particularly beneficial for ELLs because they 'have more to learn in less time, ' Melissa Lazarin, the associate director of education policy for the Center, said at a forum to release the report, <em>A Race Against the Clock: The Value of Expanded Learning Time for English Language Learners</em>."
Highland Elementary School in Maryland's Montgomery County, which won a coveted Blue Ribbon yesterday from the Maryland State Department of Education, stands out among public schools in the Maryland suburbs for two reasons. It ranks first among those schools in the number of economically disadvantaged students who perform at advanced levels on statewide tests, a measure of its accomplishments. And it ranks second in percentage of students who have limited English proficiency, a measure of its challenges.
Generalities about "minority students" can easily hide specific issues related to various ethnic and racial groups — and the ways they do and do not advance in the American educational systems. <em>The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies</em>, just published by Harvard University Press, is a scholarly attempt to focus on one fast-growing ethnic group. In this interview, the authors discuss their findings on Latino students and college-going rates and success.
Bosnian, Chinese, Vietnamese — these are just a few of the native languages spoken by children attending classes in Missouri's Affton and Bayless school districts. The immigrant and refugee make-up of the metropolitan St. Louis area has exploded seemingly overnight, increasing by over 65 percent since 1990. In the trenches integrating these different cultures are the faculty, staff, and administrators at St. Louis County schools.
A group of teens in Los Angeles took cameras to tell stories of immigrants in America. For some students of first-generation immigrant families, this meant looking inward. The project, funded by the non-profit group Facing History and Ourselves, is now hanging in the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Host Scott Simon talks with the high school photographers about the exhibit, titled "The Way We See It: L.A. Teens on Immigration."
Twelve-year-old Edwin is known as "feet" to his sixth-grade class. But it's not because his feet are big or particularly smelly. It's because they carried him from Guatemala to the United States. Edwin's family settled in Ohio and has made its home in Canton. Immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Romania, Ukraine, Vietnam, Thailand and China, are among those who have settled in Ohio's Stark County, and local educators are trying to keep up with the greater demand for ESL instruction in their schools.
When schools in Oregon's Jackson County enroll a student who doesn't speak English their first priority is teaching the student the language. But educators say they are also concerned with improving the student's academic skills, a process that can be stalled during the transition to English. To help students keep up with their academic skills, the state has had a partnership with the Mexican government for the past 17 years that provides supplemental Spanish instructional materials to Oregon schools at no charge or for a nominal fee. In January, the state will begin determining how to fill in the gaps where the Mexican elementary, secondary and adult-level curricula don't meet Oregon's academic standards.
In South Los Angeles, nearly one half of all high school students drop out before graduation day. At Verbum Dei it's a different story — in part due to the Catholic school's unusual strategy. The young men who attend are required to supplement their tuition by working one day a week. School administrators say it helps students take more pride in their education. The program seems to be working; in past years, every single Verbum Dei student has gone on to college.
In their forthcoming book, "The Latino Education Crisis: The Consequences of Failed Social Policies," two U.S. professors detail the educational challenges confronting this country's Latino community. UCLA's Patricia Gandara and Frances Contreras of the University of Washington examine not only the causes but also the social and economic consequences of this worrying educational gap. According to the study, Latinos, the country's biggest and fastest-growing minority, academically are being left behind at a dangerous rate.
Northern Territory Education Minister Marion Scrymgour has buckled to a backlash from the bush in her bid to force teachers in remote Aboriginal schools to teach predominantly in English. The backdown comes after federal minister and Territory MP Warren Snowdon slammed the NT Government's plan to effectively kill off bilingual education. "I don't think it'll be successful. In terms of community outcomes, not only literacy and numeracy but the outcomes for the community … they'll be negative," he said last week.