NABE Weekly eNews
Jan. 17, 2014

43rd Annual NABE Conference — Feb. 12-15
Sailing into the 21st Century: Multiple Languages. Multiple Paths. Lifelong Advantages.

Click here to view the complete flyer.More

Hispanic CREO congratulates on Sen. Ruiz's sponsored DREAM Act bill
Hispanic Council for Reform and Education Options
With the DREAM Act in stagnant state in Washington D.C., New Jersey legislators took the initiative to pass the bill and yesterday Gov. Chris Christie held a ceremonial signing approving it into law. Hispanic CREO not only wants to congratulate the politicians for pushing the bill into law — N.J. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D- N.J., state Sen. Brian Stack, D- N.J. — but we like to especially congratulate Sen. Teresa Ruiz, D-N.J., for creating the bill.More

English language learners: A growing — yet underserved — student population
Education Commission of the States
How many U.S. students are English language learners? The number may be more than you'd imagine. In the 2010-2011 school year, approximately 4.7 million public school students — nearly one in 10 students in U.S. public schools — were English language learners. In eight states, ELLs comprised 10 percent or more of the public school population, with 29 percent of California's public school students being English language learners. More

Making education more than a grade
Language Magazine (commentary)
Anne Paonessa, a contributor for Language Magazine, writes: "While the current focus in our field is on increased academic vocabulary and overall college and career readiness as driven by the Common Core, I believe we must proceed with caution. Potential dangers include English language learners experiencing increased academic frustration based on their current English proficiency levels and the quality of the instruction they receive. Many students may "check out" if the academic experience is not comprehensible at their level, internalize a negative message based on their perceived inadequacy, and not receive the meaningful engagement with language needed to increase their language acquisition."More

National board to gauge support for English learners, education research law
Education Week
The federal Education Department's research arm is gearing up to try to build a research-based case for building better supports for English language learners. At its next meeting, to be held in Washington Jan. 31, the National Board for Education Sciences is expected to hear from Sean Reardon, an education professor at Stanford University specializing in racial and income gaps in education, as well as Gabriela Uro, the ELL policy manager at the Council of the Great City Schools, and Eileen de los Reyes, deputy superintendent of academics for Boston public schools.More

State lawmakers face tough choices on Common Core
Education Week
State legislators begin their 2014 sessions this month grappling with the best way forward on the Common Core State Standards in a tricky political climate, with a majority of governors and lawmakers up for election in the fall. More

From second language learning to bilingualism in schools
Psychology Today
We are many who feel that education should help children and adolescents acquire a second or third language while retaining their first language. Education should also encourage the active use of those languages, if at all possible. More

Dual-language learning for all students is visionary
The Voice of Tucson
Being visionary didn't work for Arizona. Being reactionary was a bust, too. It's time to apply some hard-nosed realism to the fact that our schools are not serving a population of kids who are fast becoming the majority of K-12 students.More

How language seems to shape one's view of the world
Lera Boroditsky once did a simple experiment: She asked people to close their eyes and point southeast. A room of distinguished professors in the U.S. pointed in almost every possible direction, whereas 5-year-old Australian aboriginal girls always got it right. She says . Boroditsky, an associate professor of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego, says the Australian aboriginal language doesn't use words like left or right. It uses compass points, so they say things like "that girl to the east of you is my sister."More

Helping English language learners adapt under the Common Core
Education Week
The Common Core State Standards can be intimidating for those of us who teach students who are English language learners or have special needs. How can we get a jump-start on preparing our students to succeed? The first step: reflect on the subject's specific language strands. In what ways should students be able to communicate their knowledge? What language is most critical for their success with this content area, not only in the classroom but in the world? Which linguistic tools and resources do students need to be able to access to extend their knowledge? These are tough questions, and ones we should all consider daily — no matter who our students are. Next, consider these three strategies to help diverse learners face a new set of standards. You can adjust each strategy to meet individual students where they are.More

Principal promotes English learners support
Times Republican
Marshalltown High School Principal Aiddy Phomvisay said he knows the importance of having a strong English language learner program in schools — especially since he once was a young ELL student. Phomvisay has joined a statewide ELL Task Force which has a goal to recommend state policy and funding to support ELL students and their learning of English as a second language. The task force was started by the Iowa Department of Education.More

State lawmakers face tough choices on Common Core
Education Week
State legislators begin their 2014 sessions this month grappling with the best way forward on the Common Core State Standards in a tricky political climate, with a majority of governors and lawmakers up for election in the fall. For many states, this year will be a key juncture for decisions about the standards — and related exams — before their full weight is felt in classrooms, district offices, and state education departments in the 2014-15 school year. Many lawmakers will be working to help ensure that state accountability and assessment systems lead to students who are better prepared for study and work after high school, said Jeremy Anderson, the president of the Denver-based Education Commission of the States.More

US Department of Education and Cleveland Metropolitan School District reach agreement to provide equal access to STEM programs for limited-English proficient and Latino students
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights successfully resolved today its compliance review of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, entering into an agreement to ensure the District will provide limited-English proficient and Latino students with equal access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs offered at the high school level. During the 2012-2013 school year, only 130 of the district's 5,586 Hispanic students enrolled in the district's four STEM high schools.More

English language learners, refugee students surge in OPS
The Omaha World Herald
The number of English language learners and refugee students in the Omaha Public Schools continues to surge, with one in three OPS students speaking a language other than English at home. Omaha's growing Hispanic population and the city's position as a resettlement hub for refugees are two of the driving forces behind the rise of students in the English language learner program.More