While graduation rates for English-language learners and Native American students are on the rise, educators and researchers are still questioning whether the needs of those students are being better served in the nation's K-12 schools. The nation's four-year graduation rate for English-language learners has improved 10 percentage points over the past five years, rising to 65.5 percent.
From California to Maine this week, immigrant youth and supporters organized sit-ins at the offices of elected officials in the hopes of forcing a legislative solution for DREAMers by the end of the year.
Michigan is one of the 15 states plus the District of Columbia to have a Third-Grade Reading Retention Law. Starting in 2020, a third-grader who doesn't meet a certain reading proficiency level will have to repeat that grade. In response, schools are preparing for a potential surge in English Language Learner (ELL) students who may be held back because of the law.
The superintendent of the Miami-Dade schools plans to ask Florida officials to let students who fled Hurricane Maria skip the state exams that are required for graduation. Alberto M. Carvalho told board members at a meeting last month that he would request a testing waiver from the state of Florida. If granted, that waiver would allow about 90 11th and 12th grade students to skip the Florida Standards Assessments, which students must pass to earn diplomas.
Omar Salinas Chacón, senior political science and Spanish major and DACA student, was named Student of the Year by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) at its national conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference lasted from Nov. 8 to 12 and was Salinas Chacón's fourth in a row in which he gave a presentation as part of a panel within the diversity thread.
With one-time funding through the emergency levy passed at the start of the school year, district officials hired two English Language paraprofessionals at Teton High School to support close to 50 ESL students. ESL or English as a Second Language students at the high school is a focused need for teachers, said Lisie Smith, head of the teacher's association and these two paraprofessionals were important educational gap to fill this year.
The Senate tax bill that passed in the wee hours of Saturday morning could have massive implications for schools and universities, students and parents. Public education advocates warned that certain provisions could put pressure on state and local spending for public schools while giving parents incentives to send children to private schools.
"Amina is one of millions of people affected by the ongoing Syrian conflict. Following a vicious attack in their home neighborhood, the teen and her family struggle to find normalcy amid the political chaos. They join the ranks of refugees fleeing for survival, traveling through Syria, Lebanon, and ultimately Canada. This is a collaborative masterpiece: Kullab, a reporter who has an extensive background covering conflicts in Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, has teamed up with cartoonist Roche to deliver this emotional narrative… this is a must-purchase for any teen or adult graphic novel collection."
It's been a long work day, but two dozen parents have come straight from their jobs in the orchards and packing plants to this classroom in their children's high school. They want their questions answered. In Spanish, they're firing off queries at the associate principal. Three months ago, these parents understood little about their school. Nearly all are from Mexico, many with little formal education. They come from countries where the schools work differently. But after a nine-week training program, they're brimming with information and new power. And their questions keep coming.
John Bachmann, 55, of Montclair, volunteers two hours every Wednesday evening, teaching English as a Second Language to Syrian refugees at NJ Rebuild's Program (gera-ngo.org/esl), a nonprofit organization based in Wayne. Bachmann has been volunteering since September. The program is sponsored by GERA (Global Emergency Response and Assistance) located in Paterson, (also at gera-ngo.org). The word “gera” means neighbor in Arabic. Bachmann said he is among approximately a half dozen Montclair residents who also give of their time at the program, and that he was inspired to volunteer by his parents' story; they came from West Berlin, Germany and were sponsored by strangers. They spoke very little English. "By the help of people here, they found their way," he says.