Alugya Suliman said her parents came to the United States not as refugees, but as people trying to find a good education for their children. "From the very start, we always knew that education was the most important thing," says Suliman, 18, a high school senior. "We make the most of it." Jan Kilgo, who is her counselor and has known Suliman since she was in middle school, says, "She excels in everything she does. She truly values the opportunity she has received."
Elementary School librarian Lauraine Lindbloom, who volunteers to help adults and children learn how to speak and read English, has received a $1,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Librarians Association to carry out similar work at her own school. Lindbloom's proposal was to become ESL-certified and to research and obtain library books and other materials that may help English as a second language or English language learners to become more proficient in reading and speaking English.
During her 17 years on the federal bench, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has handled a relatively small number of cases dealing directly with K-12 education. But those disputes — touching on such issues as racial discrimination, special education, and student freedom of expression — offer clues to the direction she might take on school matters if she joins the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court this month will determine if Arizona has satisfied a federal court order to spend enough money to help English-language learners succeed in school. But no matter what the court decides in <em>Flores vs. Arizona</em>, one thing is not likely to change: the type of program — a unique, four-hour-a-day English-immersion course — that every English learner from kindergarten to high school must take.
Crayon-colored images depicting the four seasons hang on the classroom walls. Sunny skies mean <em>verano</em> — summer. Though the students in this classroom are native Spanish speakers, the teacher might read stories to them in English. A few months ago that wasn't the case for Ana Maria Garcia, a prekindergarten and kindergarten bilingual teacher from Mexico. Garcia was one of 13 bilingual teachers in Texas' Longview Independent School District to participate in the AC Language School, a program that focuses on improving English grammar and pronunciation for teachers who originate from other countries.
Emmanuel Garcia sometimes shakes his head in amazement: He made it to college and just finished his first year at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. It wasn't easy navigating his way through student loans amid a worldwide financial crisis — as well as a private family crisis. Emmanuel's classmate Marlo Johnson wasn't quite so lucky. Despite having a scholarship to a private university, she couldn't come up with the money to pay for tuition, housing and books. She spent the year working for minimum wage and took a few courses at a community college.
After completing a freshman seminar about immigration in New York, Anita Sonawane, a brainy undergraduate who happens to be a New York immigrant, had a transformative aha moment. It was something the professor said. "Oh, come on, Anita, you know you're not going to be a doctor," Jeff Maskovsky, an urban studies professor at Queens College, told her, hoping to challenge the idea that the only way to succeed in America was to practice medicine.
Life has taken David Ghai from a burning village to a refugee camp, from war-torn Sudan to the United States, and now, after four years of study, across the graduation stage at Florida's Pasco-Hernando Community College. It was a slow climb for Ghai, who was in his early 20s when he arrived in 2003 with the second wave of Sudanese Lost Boys brought to the Tampa Bay area by the humanitarian aid group World Relief.
The word "first" is often associated with graduations. Herbert Rosales and Fatima Rodriguez from Frederick, MD are proud for being first in their families to graduate from high school, and the students credit their parents for their journey to the big day.
A requirement that some Milwaukee voucher schools switch to bilingual teaching programs is among items in the pending state budget bill that are catching criticism from voucher advocates. The bilingual rule was inserted late in the process at the initiative of state Rep. Pedro Colon, D-Milwaukee. The budget includes a cut of 2.5 percent per student in voucher funding. The state also would cut aid to public schools by 2.5 percent.