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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Texas Likely to Appeal Court Ruling on English Language Learner Programs

Texas officials say that they are likely to appeal a federal court order telling the state it must, by the 2009-10 school year, revamp programs for English-language learners in grades 7-12 and improve monitoring of programs for ELLs in all grades. But the July 25 order in the long-running case of <em>U.S. v. Texas</em> has drawn praise from ELL advocates, who hope it will spur improvement of the quality of education for English-language learners in middle and high schools across the nation.

Schools Struggle to Pay for English-Learner Program

Arizona public schools have struggled with how to pay for a new state program teaching immigrant students English, especially since districts requested around $300 million but received only $40 million. At Arizona's largest district, with 73,000 students, Mesa Public Schools administrators received $1.8 million in state money for the new English-learner program, but they expect to spend about $7 million. It meant digging to find another $5.2 million out of a slim budget, which already had to be cut by $13 million. More than 100 district positions were left unfilled, including associate superintendent and school librarians.

Indiana Schools Learning to Teach Non-English Students

Many migrant families are looking to Northwest Indiana and other parts of the state for a place to settle in the United States. Nationally, Indiana ranks third for drawing migrant and limited-English students, said Lauren Harvey, an assistant director at the Indiana Department of Education's Office of English Language Learning & Migrant Education

Elementary School Extends School Year for Struggling Readers

Colorado's Avon Elementary is trying something new this year — about a month of extra school for students falling behind in reading. Walk into a classroom, and you'll find a group of five kids huddled around a teacher with books in their hands, reading together and asking each other questions.

Study Finds Disparities in Teacher Qualifications

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing found nearly six-and-a-half percent of all California teachers were assigned to a class they were not qualified to teach. The majority of these assignments were in classrooms where English was a second language, affecting Latino students the most.

Voter Registration Drive Takes Multilingual Feel in Boston

Just outside the China Pearl restaurant in Chinatown, where roasted ducks dangled and pictures of bubble tea hung in the windows, Raymond Chow, 18, sat at a card table with a sign taped on it that read "Voter Registration Drive." The words repeated seven times in various scripts and languages — including Chinese. The City Council has supported a proposed law that would require that ballots be translated into Chinese and Vietnamese in all elections in the city, including state and federal elections, but the measure still requires legislative approval.

Companies Take Lead in Assimilation Efforts

Marriott International is currently offering thousands of foreign-born housekeepers, cooks, and maintenance workers its no-cost "Thirst for Knowledge" program, which helps employees learning English by simulating conversations in banks, hospitals, shops, and schools as well as in hotel kitchens and lobbies. Marriott is among several dozen major U.S. corporations spearheading a campaign to turn the divisive national debate about immigration in a more positive direction. Amid increasing public hostility to immigrants and intensifying efforts by local and federal authorities to crack down on illegal immigration, these business leaders hope to counter criticism that immigrants steal jobs and burden public services by highlighting the contributions they make to the U.S. economy and improving their ability to integrate.

Hispanic Population Soars in Northeastern Pennsylvania

New census estimates released Thursday show Northeast Pennsylvania's Hispanic population grew dramatically in 2007, spurred by a 20.5 percent surge in Luzerne County, the fastest rate in the state. Members of the region's Hispanic community say the latest figures portend a demographic shift that is already sending ripples through the area's social, cultural, and economic fabric.

CT Schools Facing Teacher Shortages

As school districts scramble to fill vacant teaching positions before kids start heading back to school this month, a shortage of science, math and foreign language teachers remains a statewide roadblock. In New Haven, officials have traveled all the way to Puerto Rico to recruit much-sought-after (and hard to find) bilingual teachers. Across the state, districts are seeing an influx of English-language learners; more than 9,000 entered Connecticut schools from 2000 to 2005 alone, according to the state Department of Education.

Virginia School District Plugs Gap With Summer Reading

Early afternoon is a quiet time in Ervin Salazar's house in Fairfax, VA, when the 11-year-old likes to relax on the couch with a book. Then he writes a postcard to his teacher, describing his favorite scenes. In reply, his teacher sends more books. Ervin is part of a summer school program, but he doesn't catch a bus or fill out worksheets or prepare for tests. He just reads.