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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Advocates, Senate Education Committee Support ELL Instruction Flexibility in Arizona

Education advocates spoke this week in support of Arizona Senate Bill 1014, which provides schools flexibility in instruction for English Language Learners, and the Senate Education Committee approved the bill with amendments. SB 1014 would provide schools more flexibility in how they deliver instruction to English Language Learner (ELL) students and that would help more ELL students graduate high school on time. The ELL student graduation rate in Arizona is currently about 20 percent – the lowest for these students in the entire nation.

How the Shutdown Is Starting to Impact Schools

More than three weeks into what's now the longest federal government shutdown in history, school district officials are making plans to cope with the impacts on students, families, and their own operations should it drag on.

Poughkeepsie Couple Has Helped Students Attend College for Decades

Eddie Ramirez says he and his wife Norma have 142 kids. The U.S. Army veteran and retired City of Poughkeepsie teacher have 36-year-old and 39-year-old biological sons. The rest are students they've supported over 20 years throughout the Hudson Valley.  "We would pick up the newspaper and see the high school honor rolls throughout the Hudson Valley area and I would count the amount of Hispanic names in these honor rolls," Ramirez said. "I was astonished that there weren't many listed." It was then that the two decided they would create what ultimately became the Hudson Valley Latino Scholarship program.

How a Prolonged Shutdown Could Threaten Child-Care Aid for the Needy

The partial federal government shutdown has now stretched into its 24th day, and is the longest in history. And if negotiations between President Donald Trump and Congress over a potential border wall continue to falter, states could find themselves in a tight spot when it comes to funding one of the most important programs for poor children—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF—as well as other federal child-care benefits. 

Va. School System to Furloughed Federal Workers: Come Be Substitute Teachers

Three weeks into a partial government shutdown that has stalled nine federal departments, Nargess Lakehal-Ayat spends her days at home, fielding questions from her 12-year-old son that she’s unable to answer. That’s how Lakehal-Ayat found herself Friday, on the shutdown’s 21st day, in a nondescript government building in Falls Church, Va., one of about 200 federal workers who applied to become substitute teachers in Fairfax County School District during a hiring event for furloughed workers.

Portsmouth Considers Spanish Instruction at Elementary Schools

A team of school leaders recently completed an exploratory look into the possible implementation of a foreign language program at the elementary level, as part of the district's ongoing mission to create global citizens and promote cultural competency. If approved through the budget process, students kindergarten through fifth grade might see Spanish integrated into everyday education.

It Took This Separated Family 246 Days to Reunite

The 12-year-old wore a pink Disney princess backpack that said, "We Can Do ANYTHING," as she hugged her mom for the first time in eight months. It was a moment Vilma Carrillo feared would never come. US immigration authorities separated Carrillo from her daughter, Yeisvi, after they crossed the border together in May 2018. But even though a federal judge last year ordered the US government to reunite most of the immigrant families it separated, advocates said this mother and daughter weren't covered by that ruling. That's because Carrillo was born in Guatemala, but her daughter was born in the United States. Because Yeisvi is a US citizen, she couldn't be reunited with her mother in immigrant detention, as other parents and children were.

Integrated ELL Program at Medford Middle School a Success, Officials Say

The new integrated system for English Language Learners at the McGlynn Middle School has led to behavioral and educational improvements. Recent changes to the teaching model for English Language Learners at the middle school level have led to educational improvements for native and non-native English speakers, school officials announced at the Jan. 14 School Committee meeting.

Do Schools Value the Bilingualism of English-Learners?

In the past decade, the popularity of the seal of biliteracy has surged across the country. What started out as an effort to promote educational equity for English-language learners in California may be morphing into something else as more states pass legislation that honors high school graduates who demonstrate fluency in two or more languages. For English-language learner advocates and foreign language instructors, the national embrace of bilingualism is a welcome sight. But a big unanswered question remains: Bilingualism for whom?