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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Colleges and Latinos Have Much Work Left

The number of Latinos dropping out of high school has been cut in half during the past 25 years, but great disparity remains when it comes to their college graduation rates, according to a study from the Pew Hispanic Center. Richard Fry, the center's senior research associate, said Anglo students continue to be twice as likely to graduate from college as Hispanics.

Trustees Seek Way to Reduce Expenses

Bigger kindergarten classes, fewer counselors, and less support for new teachers and English Language Learner programs are among the proposals to cut nearly $11 million from the Escondido elementary district's budget next year. Trustees for the Escondido Union School District must consider an array of reductions, including cutting 45 teachers, 10 counselors, and eight assistant principals, to offset losses in state funding and other factors.

Diverse Cultures Merge for Education

Iowa's West Hancock Community School district held a Spanish Family Night for the first time event last Friday night for Hispanic families with children enrolled in the school. The event brought students, parents, and educators together for a light-hearted evening of fun, food, and understanding. District staff wrote and received a state grant that uses Title III funds, which provides resources to states and local school districts to address the educational needs of English language learners.

Celebration Highlights ELL Achievements

An Oregon elementary school held an English Language Learners celebration last week for hundreds of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and children from such nations as Mexico, Vietnam, and Russia. About 45 percent of the students in Harold Oliver Primary and Intermediate come from families whose first language is not English. One mother from Vietnam said about her daughter's participation, "I very like seeing her in school here."

California's Economy Needs More College-Educated Latinos

California faces a major economic crisis: a shortage of four-year college graduates. The state stands to produce too few graduates to fuel its cutting-edge service economy, mainly because not enough Latinos attend and complete college. As the student population of California becomes increasingly Latino, these numbers bode badly for the state's economy.

Opinion: Republicans Prefer Top Court Fight to Fair ELL Law

State schools Superintendent Tom Horne would rather appeal a 16-year-old lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court than do right by Arizona kids who are trying to learn English. That's the stubborn response to a federal appeals court ruling Friday that deemed our English-language learning, or ELL, law to be flawed but easily reparable with just two changes.

Leading by Example

After the last bell has rung and most students have left school for the day, nearly 30 students crowd a classroom at Washington's Walla Walla High School, where the walls are decorated with colorful paper flags and announcements written in Spanish.
Each Tuesday, the teens in the school's Latino Club meet and cover a range of topics, like hearing from a guest speaker on how to get into college; doing hands-on work on their senior culminating projects; or preparing to attend a youth leadership convention in Olympia and Tacoma geared for Latino students. The club's current officers describe the club's purpose as getting Latinos thinking about and preparing for higher education.

Immigration Laws Send Hispanics Elsewhere

Thousands of illegal immigrants have fled the two states that have enacted tough new immigration laws similar to the one before the Indiana General Assembly. Since passing their laws, Oklahoma and Arizona have seen declines in school enrollments, a scarcity of construction workers, and the sudden emptying of rental homes and apartments. The same, some people say, would happen in Indiana, though advocates of stronger immigration laws say they would welcome the change.

For Years, Her Instruction Has Helped Immigrants Assimilate

A sign at the Bedford library stopped Mary Griffitts in her tracks in 1989. It read "Sign-up: Training for ESL classes." For Griffitts, it was a challenge. "I had always felt that if you lived in this country, that you should learn English," Griffitts said. "At that time I thought, 'Well it's now time for me to put up or shut up.'" With no teaching background, Griffitts took the training class and has now been a volunteer ESL teacher for 18 years.

At Mall, Multilingual Outreach

A kiosk at a Maryland shopping mall offers a multilingual assortment of pamphlets addressing everything from how to help your child with homework to how to sign up for news alert e-mails in Spanish or French. This is the face of today's parent outreach. School systems trying to adapt to increasingly diverse student populations are starting GED classes in Spanish for parents, holding workshops to explain concepts such as physical education and PTAs, and translating their handouts into an assortment of languages including Vietnamese and Urdu.