ELL News Headlines

Throughout the week, Colorín Colorado gathers news headlines related to English language learners from around the country. The ELL Headlines are posted Monday through Friday and are available for free!

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DeVos's Hard Line on New Education Law Surprises States

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who made a career of promoting local control of education, has signaled a surprisingly hard-line approach to carrying out an expansive new federal education law, issuing critical feedback that has rattled state school chiefs and conservative education experts alike. One area of feedback issued to multiple states focused on goals for English language learners.

St. Paul Schools to Add 10 ELL Teachers After Criticism

Budget balancing at the district level left most St. Paul schools with fewer dollars for the school year that began July 1. But a late infusion of state aid allowed the district to invest in an area in which it has faced challenges: the education of its English language learners (ELL). Critics say improvements are needed, and recent findings by the state and the city of St. Paul’s human rights department back them up.

Every Senior at This Struggling D.C. High School Was Accepted to College

When Trayvon McKoy moved to Washington, D.C., from Maryland about two years ago, he'd never played drums before in his life. Then, when he enrolled at Ballou High School, he says he didn't have much choice. Now music is so much a part of his life that this fall he's headed to Bethune-Cookman University in Florida to major in music production. Maybe Trayvon's story doesn't seem unique, but he and the rest of the class of 2017 at Ballou will go down in history. They are the first class to be accepted, entirely, to college. "Everyone walks around with their heads high now," Trayvon says.

English Learners Often Go Without Required Help at Chicago Schools

Lax oversight, state underfunding and the end of a federal consent decree that in part addressed bilingual education have contributed to Chicago's long history of violating state bilingual education law, a Chicago Reporter investigation has found. As a result, English learners go without legally required services recommended by experts, such as books in their native language and teachers who speak that language or have English as a Second Language training.

Malala Yousafzai, Girls' Education Advocate, Finishes High School

It's not unusual for teenagers to take a summer trip after graduating high school, but Malala Yousafzai is a bit different. The 19-year-old Pakistani woman attended her last day of secondary school in Birmingham, England, on Friday, a milestone for the activist who has fought for girls' education. She said on her new Twitter account that she would begin traveling next week to the Middle East, Africa and Latin America to meet with girls.

In Moving Graduation Speech, Yale-Bound Student Takes On Doubters Who Said Her Class Would 'Fail' and 'Go To Jail'

You no doubt have heard and read your share of graduation speeches, but you probably haven’t read or heard one like this. This extraordinary speech was delivered a few weeks ago by Coral Ortiz, an 18-year-old who just received her diploma from James Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn.  Ortiz was a student representative on the New Haven Board of Education and the State Board of Education and is headed to Yale University, where she plans to major in political science and follow her interest in the social sciences. In her speech, she delivers a powerful message: "So to those that believed my classmates and I were incapable, I have decided to leave a message for you: To the teacher who said my classmates and I would fail and that the taxpayers wasted resources on our education — today, we teach you that you were wrong."

Summer Reading For Your Woke Kid

Social activist Innosanto Nagara wanted to find a fun book to read to his 2-year-old son that also talked about the importance of social justice. He wasn't looking for the typical fiction written for children, instead, he was looking for unique narratives — by writers of color and/or authors who can speak about social issues through their own experiences. Nagara couldn't find any. So he wrote one. But not all parents have the time to do what Innosanto Nagara did. For those who can't, NPR has compiled a list — with help from Teaching for Change — of books that frame big issues through a lens children can understand.

CSU-Pueblo Student to Test Her Knowledge of Latino History

A Colorado State University-Pueblo student has been selected as one of 12 participants in the 2017 State Farm Hispanic College Quiz show series. Yolanda Gamboa, a non-traditional senior from Pueblo majoring in social work, is scheduled to travel to Nashville, Tenn., July 21-23 with coach Fawn Amber Montoya, director of the university's Honors Program, to film the competition.