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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Mandy Manning: 'We Shouldn't Just Stay in Our Classrooms'

Mandy Manning has not been shy about advocating for her immigrant and refugee students. In an interview, Manning told me about some of her early experiences teaching in Armenia and Japan, and how feeling like an outsider informs her teaching. She also addressed how students are feeling more empowered (and why that's not always a good thing), and why she continues to fight for immigrant youth.   

A big reason rural students never go to college: Colleges don't recruit them

Urban and suburban students may take college recruiting visits for granted, but recruiters rarely go to rural schools serving small populations. Rural households also have lower incomes than urban and suburban ones, the Census Bureau reports, meaning that rural students are less profitable for colleges — which often have to offer them financial aid. This anemic outreach is among the reasons comparatively low numbers of high school graduates from rural high schools end up in college the following fall — 59 percent, compared to 62 percent of urban and 67 percent of suburban high school grads, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks this.That, in turn, may threaten a broader economy that relies heavily on rural communities and workers, says Andrew Koricich, an assistant professor of education at Appalachian State University.

Three teachers named finalists for top honor in suburban Maryland

Three teachers in suburban Maryland were recognized this week for outstanding work and will compete to be Montgomery County’s teacher of the year. Maura Backenstoe, a kindergarten teacher at Burning Tree Elementary School in Bethesda, was the third honoree. "I call her the 'miracle-working magical unicorn teacher' because she inspires joy and excellence in every student," said one parent quoted in the official announcement about the awards. Backenstoe — known as "Mother Hen" at Burning Tree — teaches nonnative English speakers and kindergartners with special education needs, physical disabilities and sensory and developmental issues. In the past five years, 99 percent of her students have met or exceeded the grade-level reading benchmark.

For many Southern California students, two languages (or more) are better than one

In Maritza Bermudez's home, the goal has been to speak Spanish as much as possible. But starting next school year, Korean will be thrown into the mix. Bermudez, who lives in Anaheim, is enrolling one of her children in a Korean/English language immersion program – the first of its kind in Orange County and part of a growing trend throughout Southern California.

MSU Denver earns Hispanic-Serving Institution status

It's official: The university that serves more Latino students (5,439) than any other higher education institution in Colorado has earned the federal designation of Hispanic-Serving Institution, a status that unlocks access to millions of dollars in grant opportunities and corroborates Metropolitan State University of Denver’s decade-long effort to better reflect and serve Colorado.

High-Quality Teaching Materials for ELLs Is Goal of New Initiative

The Council of the Great City Schools and Los Angeles Unified School District have launched the first phase of a nationwide initiative to improve the quality of instructional materials for English-language learners — and the training for teachers who work with them.

What the Nation's Best Teachers Are Saying About U.S. Child Detention Policies

Education Week was in El Paso to cover a teach-in organized by "Teachers Against Child Detention." It's a group started by Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, who said she was "appalled" by the Trump administration's practice of separating and detaining children for months away from their parents. She organized this event in west Texas, and hundreds of teachers from all over the country showed up in support, including a contingent that traveled from Alaska 3,000 miles away. John King, former U.S. secretary of education, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, spoke out in support. So did several state teachers of the year. Here's what 10 of these award-winning teachers had to say.

Research offers support of young dual-language learners

Spanish remains the most commonly spoken language in the United States after English. Research finds that children benefit from growing up bilingual, but how can schools and parents help kids dominate both languages?