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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Opinion: Colorado's Future Depends on Educated Hispanic Work Force

In this column, Joe Garcia, president of Colorado State University-Pueblo, writes, "The youngest and fastest growing segment of our population is of Hispanic origin. If they are the work force of tomorrow they must be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow and those jobs increasingly will require at least some college. It is in our collective interest to properly prepare them for college, enroll them, and make sure they successfully graduate. This will require the collective efforts of families, the K-12 system, community and state colleges, universities, social service agencies, private business, and state and local governments."

Hmong Children's Book Aims to Bridge Gap

A new children's book by a Stevens Point author aims to educate people about the Hmong culture. Published by the Portage County Literacy Council, Maiker Vang's "Grandma's Hmong New Year Celebration" teaches people of all ages and nationalities why the Hmong celebrate the way they do. Filled with intricate colored-pencil drawings and written in three dialects, it tells the story of a Hmong woman from Laos who is teaching her American Hmong granddaughter about the Hmong New Year.

Opening the Conversation on Achievement Gap

Columnist Hector Becerra shares the responses he received to his column about ethnic achievement gaps: "Writing about anything dealing with race, ethnicity or cultural differences is like a big Rorshach test. Everyone sees something different."

Column: Forget About the Achievement Gap

The Washington Post's Education Columnist Jay Mathews writes, "I don't like talking about the achievement gap. The term has several meanings, none very useful to my mind. There is often a strained silence when I bring this up, since it sounds like I am on some crotchety rant against political correctness. But that is not what I mean. Thankfully, a new study is making my point for me, courtesy of Brookings Institution scholar Tom Loveless."

Summer Slide: Low-Income Students Can Lose Ground When School Is Out

They call it the "summer slide." As June slips into July and then the dog days of August, many of the math skills, history lessons and new vocabulary words that students acquired during the school year slip without the routine of daily classes. As a result, many high-income families around the country send their children into private academic summer programs, and that has educators increasingly worried that the achievement gap actually widens over the summer.

Helping Teachers Respect Differences

When new Spanish-speaking students arrive in Leroy Robinson's class, he asks what country they're from. Other teachers might expect the answer to be Mexico. But by asking, Robinson finds he has students from places like Honduras and Guatemala — and makes a connection he hopes leads children to be more open to learning. Such steps toward sensitivity and empathy are a cornerstone of new policies and lessons for teachers bridging cultural gaps with students.

Students to Get Bigger Dose of Global Culture in Classroom

Des Moines students will soon see more focus in the classroom on global issues. Possibilities brainstormed at a school board meeting Tuesday include foreign languages and geography at an earlier age and ways to incorporate culture lessons into subjects like art. Other ideas ranged from more attention to current events to more foreign exchange opportunities.

Bilingual Is Way to Go, New Principal Believes

Jon Schuhl, Tigard High School's new principal, said in college he grappled with what it is like to struggle to learn in a second language. Schuhl sees his role as principal as trying to connect students, their families and the community to the school. That must be done while being an instructional leader and making seemingly trivial matters like the bell schedule work better.

Students Recall College Life as Undocumented Immigrants

College life, for any undergraduate student, is often met with challenges that can sometimes seem larger than life. Those same challenges can be even more burdensome for undocumented immigrants on campuses across the U.S. Kent Wong, editor of <em>Underground Undergrads</em> and director of the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education, is joined by Mariana Zamboni, who attended college as an undocumented immigrant. The two discuss how the nation's immigration debate, for some students, shapes the college experience.

LULAC Calls for Culture-based Educational Approach and Accountability To Stem Dropout Rate Among Minorities

Reforming the No Child Left Behind Act to promote higher accountability standards for the nation's high schools, inclusive and equitable testing and culture-based curricula may help stem the wave of minority high school student dropouts and shrink the achievement gap, a panel of educators and activists said at a LULAC meeting here this week. Every year, approximately 1.2 million students drop out of high school. The dropout rate for Hispanic students is more than 40 percent, and for Blacks it hovers at 50 percent. Underrepresented minorities, in general, have less than a 58 percent chance of graduating high school with a regular diploma. This inequality can be reversed by reforming No Child Left Behind (NCLB), education advocates say.

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