NABE Weekly eNews
Apr. 4, 2013

Are schools getting tongue-tied?
District Administration Magazine
English as a Second Language programs have historically focused on Spanish-speaking students, but the ESL map is undergoing a dramatic transformation that is challenging K-12 schools to cope with a burgeoning number of different native languages — more than 100 in some locations — as new immigrants arrive in districts across the country. And the number of English language learners has increased by 65 percent between 1993 and 2004 compared to barely a 7 percent increase in the total K-12 population, according to a 2006 study by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. And according to the Migration Policy Center, more than 70 percent of ESL students are Spanish speaking.More

Bilingual student helps others boost performance
Hispanic Business
Watching Daniela Rodriguez stroll across the Glynn Academy campus one would think she's been a Georgia resident forever. But that's not the case. In fact, she's not even a native of the United States. The 18-year-old moved from Chipas, Mexico, just five years ago. But as she waves to friends, taking a seat on a sun-kissed bench in the school's courtyard, it's clear that she's in her element. Of course, it wasn't always so easy for Rodriguez.More

Federal employees respond as sequester takes toll
By Maurice Leach
With the arrival of April 1, the across-the-board automatic spending cuts known as the sequester are still on schedule to go into effect. The $1.2 trillion in cuts authorized under the Budget Control Act negotiated by President Barack Obama and Congress were signed into law in August 2011. The cuts will have a serious impact on the federal workforce, including furloughs of more than 1 million federal workers, a hiring freeze, cutbacks on overtime hours and a freeze on pay raises for six months.More

New Mexico legislature passes biliteracy seal bill
Office of the Governor Susana Martinez
The New Mexico state legislature showed their support for the state's multilingual and multicultural students in the passing of House Bill 541 — Teacher Language Proficiency & Council. The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Rick Miera, specifically focused on establishing a bilingual seal of achievement as a capstone to the states' bilingual programs, as well as a State Bilingual Advisor Council to assist the NMPED in meeting the needs of the states emerging bilingual students. More

Arizona English learner program upheld in federal court
Education Week
Arizona schools may continue to keep English learners in language-instruction classes for up to four hours a day, a federal judge has ruled in a long-running case over the civil rights of ELLs in the state. U.S. District Judge Raner Collins ruled that the state's education program for students who are still learning English does not violate their civil rights, despite arguments from plaintiffs in the case that the program keeps ELLs from receiving much, if any, meaningful instruction in the core academic content areas.More

Bill increasing time for English language learners advances
Check & Balance
Schools with students who are learning English would get more support and more time to teach it, under a bill advanced by Colorado lawmakers. The state currently requires and pays for schools to offer two years of instruction to English language learners — or ELL students. The bill would expand that support to five years, consistent with national research on how long it takes to learn a language. The Colorado Department of Education would provide support for training more teachers.More

Importance of home language series
Office of Head Start
School readiness and school success for children who are dual language learners are tied directly to mastery of their home language. This series of handouts is designed to provide staff and families with basic information on topics related to children learning two or more languages. They emphasize the benefits of being bilingual, the importance of maintaining home language and the value of becoming fully bilingual. These easy-to-read resources highlight important information that every adult living or working with young dual language learners should know. More

Intern teachers: Special training is needed to teach English learners
San Jose Mercury News
Imagine your family transplanted to a new country. Neither you nor your children speak the local language; the education system functions entirely differently. Who do you want teaching your child: a teacher who knows how to teach both academic subjects and the new language to non-native speakers or a teacher with little to no training in either?More

Bill increasing time for English language learners advances
Check & Balance
Schools with students who are learning English would get more support and more time to teach it, under a bill advanced by Colorado lawmakers. The state currently requires and pays for schools to offer two years of instruction to English language learners — or ELL students. More

Stemming the tide of English learner dropouts
Education Week
English language learners are two times more likely to drop out of school than their peers who are either native English speakers or former ELLs who have become fluent in the language — a trend that, if unabated, will have far-reaching negative consequences, says a new report.More

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.More

Bilingual education: Why you need to care
The Daily Toreador
There's a quote from author John Green floating around the Internet that never fails to make me laugh. "Let me explain why I like to pay taxes for school even though I don't personally have a kid in school: I don't like living in a country with a bunch of stupid people." According to Wikipedia, Green and his wife do, in fact, have one child together. This causes me to doubt whether John Green actually said this. For the record, a healthy amount of skepticism should be used when reading isolated quotes on the Internet. But whoever did say or write this has a pretty darn good point.More

Language used in immigration debates may be as important as the policies
Science Daily
The language activists and politicians use in immigration debates may be as important as the policies they are debating when it comes to long-term effects, according to the author of a new study in the April issue of the American Sociological Review. "When we talk about immigration policy, we are usually focused on the content — who deserves benefits and who does not," said study author Hana E. Brown, an assistant professor of sociology at Wake Forest University.More

US Department of Education announces new executive director of White House initiative on educational excellence for African-Americans
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has announced the appointment of David J. Johns as executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. "David's expertise will be critical in helping to address the academic challenges that many African American students face, and I am delighted to have him on our team," Duncan said. "His wealth of knowledge and passion will help the Department move forward in its quest to ensure that all children are college and career ready."More

With GOP advocate, education issues could gain steam in Congress
Education Week
Education issues — which haven't gotten a lot of attention from Congress over the past four years — may have picked up an unlikely but powerful advocate: U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor. As the majority leader in the House of Representatives, the Virginia Republican has a major role in setting the agenda for the chamber. Throughout President Barack Obama's first term, Cantor served as a key counterweight to the administration's agenda on a broad swath of domestic issues, largely aligning himself with more conservative House Republicans on everything from health care to deficit reduction.More

Your story could help us reform immigration
The White House
Our immigration system is broken, and in the weeks ahead, pushing for reform will be one of our top priorities. To accomplish that goal, we'll need your support. We've already heard from people from across the country — like Ramona, whose parents immigrated here in 1920 and helped to build the New York subway system: "My father, like so many other immigrants, helped to build this country and its economy," she said. "We all have come from someplace else if we go back far enough and, as you said Mr. President, 'we've always been better off for it.'" More

With vouchers, states shift aid for schools to families
The New York Times
A growing number of lawmakers across the country are taking steps to redefine public education, shifting the debate from the classroom to the pocketbook. Instead of simply financing a traditional system of neighborhood schools, legislators and some governors are headed toward funneling public money directly to families, who would be free to choose the kind of schooling they believe is best for their children, be it public, charter, private, religious, online or at home.More