California is about to reach another benchmark by offering fewer adult education opportunities to its residents than — well, just about any other state. When classes resume in the fall, most of the state's 2 million adult education students will pay registration fees for all classes, including high school equivalency and English as a Second Language classes, two classes that have traditionally been free.
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Arizona has not violated federal laws that require schools to help students who do not speak, read, or write English. Despite the federal mandates, these kids often fail to do well in school. So why haven't schools figured out the best way to teach English to non-English-speaking students?
Several hundred high school and college students, along with young immigrant workers, donned graduation gowns and walked in a procession to "Pomp and Circumstance" recently in sight of the U.S. Capitol. They carried signs that said "I graduated. Now what?" and "It's not my fault my parents brought me here 4 a better future."
When Maggie Porto, a gradudate student at Berry College, first came to America, she only knew Spanish, and the transition from Spanish to English was anything but easy. "The teachers were kind and patient, but had they been ESOL certified, it would have made things a lot easier," she said. Porto is one of the 12 teachers who are part of the ESOL summer camp at Georgia's Alto Park Elementary.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Arizona officials who had challenged lower federal court decisions that the state must provide adequate funding for its English-language learners. In a 5-4 decision, the court decided in <em>Horne v. Flores</em> that the lower courts didn't fairly consider "changed circumstances" that had occurred since parents in the Nogales, Ariz., school district had filed the original lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with Arizona officials who said the federal government should not be supervising the state's spending for teaching non-English-speaking students. The 5-to-4 decision reversed a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which said the state was still violating a law that required "appropriate action" to help English language learners overcome language obstacles.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday that lower courts need to take another look at whether Arizona schools are providing enough English-language programs. The lower courts had said the schools' programs were not meeting federal requirements.
The mostly immigrant adults attending Centro Latino for Literacy in downtown Los Angeles usually speak only Spanish. They come to learn to read and write their language, motivated by a panoply of hard-luck tales that they share with the UCLA interns who teach them to trace the letters of the alphabet.
The Los Angeles Unified School Board has approved a budget that will trim nearly $1.6 billion over the next three years. More than 2,000 teachers will be laid off, as well as thousands of other school employees.
Nearly 40,000 Arizona students will advance out of English-language learning programs and into regular classes this coming school year, more than double the number of students who made the move just two years ago, the Arizona Department of Education recently reported.