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| EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S COLUMN|
AFT, NABE, TESOL on Senate Bipartisan ESEA Bill
Leaders of three organizations representing the majority of educators who teach English language learners said Monday they are encouraged by the Senate bipartisan Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization proposal. "The proposed bill represents a significant step forward to support the academic and language needs of ELLs, to adequately prepare teachers to work with ELLs, and to promote equity," said leaders of the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association for Bilingual Education and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) International Association, in a statement to their members.
Every Child Achieves
The Coalition for Teaching Quality — comprised of more than 100 civil rights, disability, rural, youth, parent, community, educator and principal organizations — thanks you for your leadership in developing bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Every Child Achieves Act. We write today to specifically comment on the teacher and principal quality provisions in the bill
Opposition to Inclusion of S. 1052 (GREAT) Act in ESEA
As 91 organizations concerned with promoting educational quality and equity, particularly for students who have traditionally been least well-served by our education system, we are deeply committed to the development of well-prepared, experienced, and effective teachers for all communities, and to ensuring that every student has a fully prepared and effective teacher. We write to you with significant concerns about S.1052, the "Growing Education Achievement Training Academies for Teachers and Principals (GREAT) Act." We strongly oppose its enactment or inclusion in ESEA reauthorization.
Selected recommendations on ESEA reauthorization regarding English language working group on ELL Policy
English language learners comprise almost 10 percent of the U.S. student population at any given time. Many more students have been ELLs at some point in their schooling. In four states (Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and California) the percentages are significantly higher, ranging from 15 to 24 percent of the state's students. Moreover, many states in the Southeast and Midwest have experienced explosive ELL growth. Since the last re-authorization of ESEA, the numbers of ELLs have increased substantially, and growth is more broadly distributed across the nation.
Gwinnett County Public Schools, located in metro Atlanta, is the largest
school system in Georgia with 173,000 students and growing. GCPS is a
school system of choice for people moving to the Atlanta area and a
two-time winner of the Broad Prize of Urban Education (2010 & 2014).
Seal of Biliteracy Guidelines released
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the National Association of Bilingual Education, the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages, and TESOL International Association, have officially drafted recommendations for the implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is an award made by a state department of education or local district to recognize a student who has attained proficiency in English and one or more other world languages by high school graduation. The recognition of attaining biliteracy becomes part of the high school transcript and diploma for these students.
NCLR applauds bipartisan effort on education bill; remains concerned about accountability
he Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted unanimously to send the "Every Child Achieves Act" to the Senate floor. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds the leadership of Chairman Lamar Alexander, R–Tenn., and Ranking Member Patty Murray, D–Wash., on their bipartisan work in moving the bill this far. "We are grateful for the efforts of members of Congress who have put the future of our nation's children at the forefront of the discussion and joined together in this bipartisan effort," said Delia Pompa, Senior Vice President of Programs, NCLR.
Title III English Leaners FY16 Final
As the Subcommittee considers the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, we respectfully urge you to provide the President's Budget request of $773.4 million for Title III Language Acquisition Grant, consistent with the considerable growth of English learners being served in our nation's public schools.
NABE 2016 Chicago Conference
Please prepare for the NABE 2016 45th Annual International Bilingual Education Conference at the Chicago Hilton on March 3-5 with Pre-Conference on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
Scheduled for Hilton Anatole, Dallas on Feb. 23-25 with Pre-Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.
US Department of Education to end contracts with several private collection agencies
U.S. Department of Education
Following a review of 22 private collection agencies, the U.S. Department of Education announced today that it will wind down contracts with five private collection agencies that were providing inaccurate information to borrowers. The five companies are: Coast Professional, Enterprise Recovery Systems, National Recoveries, Pioneer Credit Recovery and West Asset Management. The department also announced that it will provide enhanced Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices monitoring and guidance for all private collection agencies that work with the Department to ensure that companies are consistently providing borrowers with accurate information regarding their loans.
Simple exercises to improve ELL reading skills — Part 3
By: Douglas Magrath
One of the problems in basic-level reading is that many reading texts on the market are often too advanced for beginning learners since they contain both complex structures and a flood of new vocabulary. Such material can overwhelm the reader and create a feeling of frustration and discouragement. A creative teacher is not without recourse, however. The following teacher-made materials have proven to be useful in ESL classrooms where beginners were working on developing reading skills.
Bilingual people take greater risks when feedback is given in their native language
Recent research from Bangor University has revealed that Chinese-English bilingual individuals take more risk in gambling when feedback is given to them in Chinese, their native language, than in English, their second language. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience investigated risk taking in different language contexts. As part of the study, Chinese-English students were asked to gamble in a computerized trial. They were given feedback in either Chinese or English in different parts of the experiment.
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Schools tested by rise in immigrants learning English
When Mariam Khan was studying to teach English as a new language, she imagined herself teaching children in other countries. Now, roughly a month into her first job, Khan instructs kids from around the world, but she does it from Indianapolis' Westside at School 79. "My hardest group is first-graders," she said. "They speak so many languages and no English. Getting used to the environment is hard for them." The challenge Khan faces — of helping students learning English become fluent quickly enough so they can learn other subjects, pass state tests and prepare for a life in the U.S. — is increasingly common across Central Indiana.
Language learning improves educational experience
Ottumwa Courier Online
Iowa's Ottumwa High School students spend their precious few minutes between classes catching up with friends, but this chatter is always in English. Roughly 10 percent of Bulldog students are considered to be non-English speakers, making it hard for them to bridge the language gap and excel in their courses. English as a Second Language Instructor Zach Smith aims to develop his students' social and academic English voices so that they are able to get the most out of their educational experience.
Genres in writing: A new path to English language learning
Migration and globalization are placing thousands of second language learners in the classrooms of teachers who lack training in language instruction. As a result, schools face the challenge of preparing educators to foster inclusive, effective language learning. In a 7-year study at a Boston elementary school where half the students are English language learners, setting a school-wide goal of improved writing skills and using a genres-based instructional method improved the performance of ELL students on state and internal assessments, according to Boston College Lynch School of Education Professor Maria E. Brisk, who presents her findings today at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting.
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What undocumented students bring to the classroom
The Atlantic (commentary)
Andrew Simmons, a contributor for The Atlantic, writes: "Teaching requires flexibility, the ability to manage a class that could be made up of English language learners, half-comatose stoners and confident National Merit semi-finalists alike — and somehow inspire all factions. At the California public school where I currently teach, the population is roughly two-thirds Latino; the ratio was far larger on my last campus. Some of these students are undocumented and, in my experience, likely to have language-acquisition needs, contend with family and work obligations, and feel alienated in the school community."
Could your teen pass a foreign language test?
Lafayette Journal & Courier
There are countless reasons for high schoolers to learn a second language — fluency can help students get into college, land a job or travel the world. But if those advantages aren't quite enough motivation, bilingual students soon could be eligible for a special certificate on their diploma. "It's proven that you actually become a smarter person if you know a second language," said Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, author of a bill to create a biliteracy certificate.
Fresh battles loom when full Senate takes up ESEA rewrite
The bipartisan rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that the U.S. Senate education committee unanimously approved joins a crush of legislative priorities awaiting debate on the chamber's floor — a process that's not guaranteed, and one that will likely draw intense partisan sparring. Even if the bill breaks through an already-clogged congressional calendar and moves to debate, it could look radically different as senators on both sides of the aisle offer amendments to reshape the measure to their liking.
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