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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Mom and Daughter Attend College Together

Eloisa Rangel and Susan Orozco are roommates, and classmates at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. They also are mother and daughter, survivors of domestic abuse. To those who work with victims of domestic violence, they represent the kind of success story that can happen when given the support it takes to move beyond their many obstacles and become self-sufficient, happy, and healthy individuals.

Sotomayor Shaped By Her 'Nuyorican' Roots

Sonia Sotomayor has called the stretch of Southern Boulevard in New York City's South Bronx the center of her childhood universe. Sotomayor has said she never thought of herself as a minority back then because most of the neighborhood was Hispanic, and has called herself "Nuyorican" — a term derived from blending the words "New York" and "Puerto Rican."

Scholars Make Case for Integration

A study presented on Capitol Hill last week provides new evidence that black and Latino children who attend elementary schools with high concentrations of minority students fare worse academically than students being taught in whiter, or more integrated, school settings. The paper, written by two researchers from Teachers College, Columbia University, was among several studies presented at a recent briefing organized by three universities to marshal new ideas and evidence for integrating K-12 schools.

Opinion: The Unexamined Educational Experience of Chinatown Immigrants

Imagine that you are a new student at a high school. Amid your English-speaking peers and unfamiliar surroundings, you find yourself walking into classrooms where you barely understand the words that your teachers say. When you go home to your one-room apartment, your parents have a pile of bills for you to translate, and your household's financial "stability" hangs in the balance by the unstable minimum wage jobs that your parents (and possibly you) hold…This is the reality faced in San Francisco by hundreds of children of immigrants.

Schools Reaching out to Portuguese Community

Multicutural Magnet School in Bridgeport, CT was established nearly three decades ago on the premise of being a tri-lingual school — teaching every child Spanish or Portuguese in addition to English. There are just 25 students from Portuguese-speaking backgrounds, however, and one for whom English is not their native language. As a result, officials at Multicultural are examining strategies for boosting the the representation of Portuguese students at the school.

L.A.'s Urban Schools Hardest Hit by Teacher Layoffs

California's budget problems mean that thousands of public school teachers are being laid off in the city of Los Angeles. Urban, low-income schools are the hardest hit because they have the greatest number of beginning teachers. For example, at John Liechty Middle School, created not long ago as a shining example of innovative education, more than half of the teachers are being laid off.

Success at Small Schools Has a Price, a Report Says

Replacing large, poor-performing high schools with smaller schools in New York City has led to lower attendance and graduation rates at other large high schools, which have struggled to accommodate influxes of high-needs students, according to a report to be released on Wednesday.

Case Studies: How the Closing of Two Brooklyn High Schools Affected ELLs

In her Learning the Language Blog, Mary Ann Zehr writes, "Advocates for Children of New York and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund released a report today contending that English-language learners were not well served by the break up of two Brooklyn high schools into smaller schools. As the New York City Department of Education continues to close large schools and replace them with smaller ones, 'ELL students — who experience some of the lowest graduation rates in the city — are left with fewer and fewer options or are simply left behind,' the report argues."

School for the Whole Family

A kindergarten teacher talks to a mom and her children, while a speech pathologist — sitting on the floor — plays with a group of preschoolers, stacking blocks. A clutch of fathers stand to the side, discussing their sons. If adults need advice on anything, from parenting to employment to nutrition, it's available all day, any day. They can also take ESL classes or learn to use email, even during summer months. Lancaster Public School in Ontario is one of the Peel District School Board's four "hubs," a model hailed in a provincial early learning report released Monday.

As State Cuts Funding, More Districts Turn to Voters

Facing multibillion-dollar state funding cuts, school districts across California are asking residents to tax themselves to fund local schools. Parcel taxes — some topping $2,000 annually per family — have been proposed this year from Sebastopol to San Marino. Residents in Palos Verdes, South Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge, Rowland Heights and several other communities are currently voting by mail as their districts grapple with the possibility of teacher layoffs, ballooning class sizes, summer school cancellations and reduced art and music programs.