ELL News Headlines

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Students Recall College Life as Undocumented Immigrants

College life, for any undergraduate student, is often met with challenges that can sometimes seem larger than life. Those same challenges can be even more burdensome for undocumented immigrants on campuses across the U.S. Kent Wong, editor of <em>Underground Undergrads</em> and director of the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, is joined by Mariana Zamboni, who attended college as an undocumented immigrant. The two discuss how the nation's immigration debate, for some students, shapes the college experience.

LULAC Calls for Culture-based Educational Approach and Accountability To Stem Dropout Rate Among Minorities

Reforming the No Child Left Behind Act to promote higher accountability standards for the nation's high schools, inclusive and equitable testing and culture-based curricula may help stem the wave of minority high school student dropouts and shrink the achievement gap, a panel of educators and activists said at a LULAC meeting here this week. Every year, approximately 1.2 million students drop out of high school. The dropout rate for Hispanic students is more than 40 percent, and for Blacks it hovers at 50 percent. Underrepresented minorities, in general, have less than a 58 percent chance of graduating high school with a regular diploma. This inequality can be reversed by reforming No Child Left Behind (NCLB), education advocates say.

Column: Thousands of Students In Texas Classified "Limited English Learners"

Last month, the Dallas Morning News published a series about illegal immigrant Hispanic students at a Dallas high school. The stories are largely about the students' struggles to learn English, pass their classes and stay in school. The stories make a compelling read, but they glossed over the more important story: thousands of students in the state of Texas who are classified as limited English speakers were born in the U.S. The majority of them are Hispanic children and low-income.

Learning in Jamaican and English

"Nuh ton hova di piepa til mi tell yuh we fi du," a teacher at the Hope Valley Experimental School, St Andrew, told her students before the beginning of an examination. Under other circumstances, this reporter would have been taken aback because it is not supposed to be the norm for classroom teachers to speak to children in Creole. However, this was the norm in some sessions for this grade-four class, which is part of the Jamaican Language Unit (JLU) at the University of the West Indies Bilingual Education Project, which started in 2004 and is scheduled to end this year.

Daring Students to Reach Higher

Seventeen-year-old Luis Pena has few doubts about his plans after high school. "Harvard," he says emphatically. "Or MIT." He wasn't always so confident. A year ago, when Pena and his family left the Dominican Republic for Ellicott City, he assumed college was beyond his reach. But midway through a Towson University workshop sponsored by the Hispanic College Fund yesterday, he proclaimed that such prestigious colleges were worth shooting for.

States Struggle to Meet Achievement Standards for ELLs

Nearly all states continue to struggle in meeting the No Child Left Behind Act's academic targets for English-language learners in mathematics and reading, according to the latest analysis released by the U.S. Department of Education.

Weingarten's New Vision for Schools Proposes Broad Role

Randi Weingarten, the New Yorker who is rising to become president of the American Federation of Teachers, says she wants to replace President Bush's focus on standardized testing with a vision of public schools as community centers that help poor students succeed by offering not only solid classroom lessons but also medical and other services.

Opinion: The 'English-Only' Language Wars Flare Up Again

The language wars flare up whenever insecure Americans worry that English is becoming <em>passé</em>. It's a cultural paranoia that is laughably off the mark. According to research, children of immigrants stand a better chance of losing their native language and speaking only English than never learning English at all. Still, it's a fear that is resistant to facts. I ought to know. I've seen it up close.

Schools Should Have Set Protocol for Educating and Retaining Immigrant Students, Educators Say

Schools need to have a protocol for educating and retaining immigrant students — documented and undocumented — and they must also engage in community outreach initiatives to build up trust among immigrant families, National Education Association (NEA) leaders and educators said during a panel last week at the organization's annual conference in Washington, D.C.