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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Child-Poverty Jump in Colorado Leads Nation

Almost twice as many Colorado children are living in poverty as in 2000, making the state's population of impoverished kids the fastest growing in the nation, according to a Colorado Children's Campaign report to be released today. Roughly 180,000 of the state's children — infants through high schoolers — lived in poverty in 2006, according to the report. That is a 73 percent increase since 2000, researchers concluded by using census and community survey data for the annual statistical review, KidsCount. It is, by far, the largest jump in the nation. Second to Colorado is New Hampshire, which saw about a 50 percent increase over the same period.

A Year in the Lives of New Immigrants

A big challenge facing North Texas' public schools is immigration — particularly teens from rural Mexico. Most speak scant English, some had interrupted schooling back home and some want to work. Often, they are here illegally. Still, the courts say schools must educate them. Since DFW has become one of America's new arrival capitals, the entire region shares an interest in their success. The News followed about 60 new immigrants and their teachers at DISD's Adamson High last school year, and met with many families, to learn about their challenges at school and home.

2008 Public School Enrollment in U.S. Expected To Set Record

Public school enrollment across the country will hit a record high this year with just under 50 million students, and the student population is becoming more diverse in large part because of growth in the Latino population, according to a new federal report.

Commentary: A Legacy of Reading Achievement

In this discussion of his district's efforts to improve reading scores, John Heim, Superintendent of Schools in Emporia, KS, writes "Our journey to ensure that all children can read on grade level has required a significant investment of time, personnel, and money. The scores of Emporia children taking Kansas Reading Assessments clearly show the investment has paid off handsomely … When one considers the demographic changes in Emporia the past seven years, the results are even more impressive. In 2003, less than one-third of our English Language Learners (ELL) scored at proficient or above on the Reading Assessment. Five years later, 72 percent of ELL students are proficient or above on the test. That is a 60 percent gain by a group of children whose first language is not English."

Bilingual Reading Instruction: What the Research Does and Doesn't Say

Research shows that bilingual reading instruction helps English-language learners to read in English, but it isn't conclusive in telling educators how long students should receive such instruction, according to Claude Goldenberg, an education professor at Stanford University, who has written an article about research on ELLs soon to be published in the <em>American Educator</em>, the magazine of the American Federation of Teachers.In "Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does — and Does Not — Say," Mr. Goldenberg explains (for the most part, in plain English) what guidance can and can't be gleaned from research on ELLs.

Legalization or Detention?

In this entry from <em>Education Week</em>'s "Learning the Language" blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "I couldn't help noticing that the impact on children of a program in Spain that legalized 600,000 African, Latin American, and eastern European workers, which is the subject of an article published today in <em>The New York Times</em>, contrasts sharply with the effects on children in the United States of their parents' detention described in a June 8 article in the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>."

Most Struggling Texas Kids Are Veterans of U.S. Classrooms

Educators often point out the obstacles new immigrants face in graduating on time. But they aren't the only kids learning English who are struggling to graduate. Statewide, about 60 percent of high school students classified as having limited English proficiency — called LEP in education circles — have been in U.S. schools five years or more, according to a <em>Dallas Morning News</em> analysis of state test data.

Editorial: Latinos' Educational Progress Affects All Texans

We don't doubt that this week's reading of <em>The Dallas Morning News</em> will cause some North Texans to throw down their newspapers in anger. The front-page stories that start today about the struggle Latino children have in progressing through the Dallas school district will lead many readers straight back to the immigration debate &#133; The real issue is how schools in Dallas and across Texas educate so many Hispanic children, whether they are first-, second- or third-generation Latinos. This responsibility starts with Latino families ensuring that their children show up at school, master their classes and ultimately succeed. But this complicated task is important to all Texans because the state's future is wrapped up with its fast-growing Latino population.

Proposed ELL Guidelines Too Rigid, Critics Warn

Education officials in several states with large English-language-learner populations are bristling at a proposal by the U.S. Department of Education that they say would curb their flexibility in deciding when children are fluent in English and if they still need special services for ELLs.

Closing the Culture Gap Can Help Latino Students Learn, Professor Says

With the increase in the nation's Hispanic population, policymakers must address the "opportunity gap" as an education challenge, says Dr. Pedro A. Noguera, a professor at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University.