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Sequestration and aid to ELLs: What happens to Title III?
Education Week
Unless a standoff between President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans gets rapidly resolved, across-the-board federal spending cuts will be triggered and set off a cascade of effects for public schools, including programs that serve English language learners. Title III, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, provides roughly $730 million in aid to states and districts to support instruction for students who are not proficient in English. That aid pays for things like ESL teachers, bilingual classroom aides, and curricular materials for English learners.
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 INDUSTRY NEWS


Bilingual children have a better 'working memory' than monolingual children
Science Daily
A study conducted at the University of Granada and the University of York in Toronto, Canada, has revealed that bilingual children develop a better working memory — which holds, processes and updates information over short periods of time — than monolingual children. The working memory plays a major role in the execution of a wide range of activities, such as mental calculation (since we have to remember numbers and operate with them) or reading comprehension (given that it requires associating the successive concepts in a text).
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US schools brace for federal funding cuts
The Washington Post
Schools across the country are sending out pink slips as they brace for the possibility of deep federal budget cuts that could take effect, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. Duncan criticized Congress for failing to reach a deal to stop the across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, which could force thousands of teachers out of their jobs. "There's no one in their right mind who would say that this is good for kids or good for the country, yet somehow it becomes tenable in Washington," Duncan said. He said that "there is no fix" to mitigate the impact of the cuts.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  ReadingA-Z.com Makes Reading Fun!

Improve your students’ reading abilities no matter what language they speak with ReadingA-Z.com! This 27-level reading plan allows students to progress at their own speed while learning with the rest of the class. Thousands of printable and projectable books and support materials. Available in English, British English, Spanish and French.
 


Test helps schools assess students' language needs
The Associated Press via Education Week
Kindergartner Enrique Medieta was busy running his fingers along a world map rug in a Glen Acres Elementary classroom as his English teacher, Marge Hemmer, smiled at him. He was sitting on the part of the rug where Indiana is located. She was on South America. "Enrique, escucho!" Hemmer said, knowing it would be silly to tell him "listen" in English. The boy's family moved from Mexico to Lafayette two weeks ago. He's one of 1,900 local students being evaluated in English proficiency.
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Equity and excellence commission report warns of failure to right unfair US schools
The Huffington Post
Advocates have shouted about inequalities in the U.S. education system for decades, with issues ranging from the availability of good teachers to the amount of money spent on schools with poor students. The gaps in standardized test scores between minorities and white students, and between rich and poor children, are longstanding and well-known facts.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Spanish Literacy and Language Intervention

Dr. Margarita Calderon’s RIGOR provides comprehensive literacy development for older newcomers and other ELs reading at primary levels, using language-leveled informational texts. K-8 Comprehension Skill Bags include nonfiction books and all the instructional resources needed to teach targeted skills.
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How bilingualism could benefit the brain
BostInno
A second language can be a big advantage in many ways — whether you're looking for a new job or want to blend in with the locals on a foreign holiday. But could it also sharpen your brain and help keep it young? A fascinating study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found a connection between faster mental reactions and speaking two or more languages. They found that people who were raised bilingual may have brains that work more efficiently. As they age, their linguistic abilities could help delay a decline in brain power.
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Agreement between US and Palm Beach County, Fla.
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
The School District of Palm Beach County ("District") and the United States of America ("United States") (collectively, "the Parties") enter into this agreement ("Agreement") to resolve the United States' investigation into complaints regarding the District's policies and practices for registering and enrolling students in District schools and for administering student discipline.
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Bilingual children have a better 'working memory' than monolingual children
Science Daily
A study conducted at the University of Granada and the University of York in Toronto, Canada, has revealed that bilingual children develop a better working memory — which holds, processes and updates information over short periods of time — than monolingual children. The working memory plays a major role in the execution of a wide range of activities, such as mental calculation (since we have to remember numbers and operate with them) or reading comprehension (given that it requires associating the successive concepts in a text).

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Speaking multiple languages can influence children's emotional development
Medical Xpress
On the classic TV show "I Love Lucy," Ricky Ricardo was known for switching into rapid-fire Spanish whenever he was upset, despite the fact Lucy had no idea what her Cuban husband was saying. These scenes were comedy gold, but they also provided a relatable portrayal of the linguistic phenomenon of code-switching.

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Schools falter at keeping ELL families in the loop
Education Week
As thousands of communities — especially in the South — became booming gateways for immigrant families during the 1990s and the early years of the new century, public schools struggled with the unfamiliar task of serving the large numbers of English learners arriving in their classrooms. Instructional programs were built from scratch. Districts had to train their own teachers to teach English to non-native speakers or recruit teachers from elsewhere. School staff members had to figure out how to communicate with parents who spoke no English.

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President Fernández named a director of the Association of American Colleges and Universities
Lehman College
President Ricardo R. Fernández has been named a Director of the Association of American Colleges and Universities at the organization's recent annual meeting in Atlanta. The AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career.
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Why promising minority students aren't signing up for AP exams
The Christian Science Monitor
The number of high school students passing at least one Advanced Placement exam is up overall this year, but students from minority groups still lag behind their white peers, particularly in math and science. Among members of the class of 2012, more than 32.4 percent (950,000 students) took at least one AP exam, up from 30.2 percent in 2011. A decade ago, the number was 18 percent, according to an annual report by the College Board, which administers the tests.
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California analyst says K-12 funding overhaul has merits
The Sacramento Bee
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office says in a new report that California Gov. Jerry Brown's school funding overhaul has many strengths but questions the retention of some "irrational" relics from the current system that benefit powerful constituents. California for years has funded schools with a combination of general per-pupil dollars and earmarks dedicated for state-driven purposes. Brown wants to blow up the earmarks and create a new system that gives districts more control and directs more money to schools with impoverished students and English learners.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Study: Interventions help Latino students beat 'stereotype threat' (Education Week )
12 ways to help ESL and ELL students (ExpertClick)
Bilingual babies know their grammar by 7 months (University of British Columbia via Science Daily)
Is English still the dominant language of higher education? (The Guardian)
Tucson, Ariz., school desegregation consent decree OK'd (The Associated Press via Education Week)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


US education department and the Corporation for National and Community Service announce new School Turnaround Americorps Program
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, announced a new competitive grant program that will provide $15 million in public funds over three years to reinforce and accelerate intervention efforts in the nation's lowest-performing schools.
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Education budget cuts are looming — So what does that mean for kids?
Take Part
The word "sequestration" is back, and it's not good news for public schools. Last December, Washington lawmakers finally negotiated to avoid the fiscal cliff that was to go into effect on Jan. 2. Part of the negotiation package included delaying sequestration (across-the-board budget cuts) until March 1. And this time it seems neither party is in the mood for dealmaking. Now that March 1 is looming, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is worried.
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Minnesota Zoo helps students learn about animals in other languages
Pioneer Press
More than 500 students from Minneapolis' Yinghua Academy poured into the Minnesota Zoo, excited to put their budding Chinese language skills to use discussing animals from snow monkeys to starfish. Sixth-graders such as Katherine St. Martin-Norburg of St. Paul set up presentations in which their classmates could play a game or hear a song developed by students about one of the zoo's animals. The visit was part of the zoo's popular World Language Days, which draw thousands of students each February to learn about animals in languages such as Spanish, Japanese and American Sign Language.
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Grapevine,Texas, third-graders make friends around the world
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"There's Frank!" exclaimed Kristi Wagner's third-grade class at Grapevine's Dove Elementary School. A smiling boy wearing a school uniform appeared on a video with two friends, and the trio waved and spoke in English. Frank was in his own classroom in Pamplona, Spain, communicating through a Web-based educational program called ePals Global Community.
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