Earlier this month, two-year-old Cosette Milla participated in a 12-week language Spanish-language immersion preschool camp near her home in Lake Oswego, OR. It's been a learning experience for both Cosette, who cried frequently her first week, and her monolingual mother, Shannon, who had to find ways to communicate with the Spanish-speaking teacher. Everyone seems to have adjusted, however. "Now when we drop her off she is so excited and happy to be there. She loves her teacher, the helpers and her friends," said Shannon.
In a city where more than 170 languages are spoken and over a third of residents are foreign-born, scores of New York public school students struggle to learn English. They are known as English-language learners (ELLs). At a press conference in early August, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in a celebratory tone that the city's four-year high school graduation has risen to 55.8 percent, while the dropout rate has decreased to 14.7 percent. The number for the ELLs, however, did not come close to that.
A one-of-a-kind enrichment program for a group of first-generation English language learners from Central and South America, Africa, and Asia is underway this week at Berkshire Community College in Massachusetts. During their week at BCC, the students are participating in various academic and social activities designed to enhance their language and math skills, and to foster team spirit and a sense of community. Central to the week's activities and training is a technological literacy component.
When students in Illinois' Elgin Area School District U-46 go back to class on Aug. 27, they will meet a new superintendent — José Torres, the district's first Latino superintendent and one of only two in Illinois, according to current State Board of Education records. In a conversation with <em>Reflejos</em>, the <em>Daily Herald</em>'s Spanish-language publication, Torres answered questions about Latino students' poor performance on standardized tests, how long students should stay in bilingual education, and the strengths of Latino students and families.
As minority communities weigh which presidential candidate would best represent them on key issues, some Native Americans are focused on whether the next president will continue to fund tribal schools that form the bedrock of their education. Rhonda LeValdo reports from Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan. on how federal funding impacts the presidential race for many students on campus.
Move over reading, writing and 'rithmetic — the three R's of education have gone green. These days, "Recycle, reduce, and reuse" is the new mantra in schools as educators, politicians, and parents push for increased environmental education and ecological awareness in California classrooms, including those of English language learners.
A new government report in England reveals that, nationwide, one in eight pupils speaks English as a second language. In some areas more than 70 per cent of pupils arriving at the school gates do not speak English as their mother tongue. The figures give the sharpest snapshot yet of the scale of the challenge facing schools around the country.
Florida is still in the dark when it comes to school funding, according to Gloria Estefan, who Monday announced her first South Florida concert in four years — a partial fundraiser for education groups from Miami-Dade to Indian River counties. Amid the hubbub of a show-biz news conference set in a hotel casino, Estefan spoke passionately about her support for public education. State promises have been broken for years, including when voters were told the Florida Lottery would help save the education system, Estefan said. "It was a travesty," she said.
Texas officials say that they are likely to appeal a federal court order telling the state it must, by the 2009-10 school year, revamp programs for English-language learners in grades 7-12 and improve monitoring of programs for ELLs in all grades. But the July 25 order in the long-running case of <em>U.S. v. Texas</em> has drawn praise from ELL advocates, who hope it will spur improvement of the quality of education for English-language learners in middle and high schools across the nation.
Arizona public schools have struggled with how to pay for a new state program teaching immigrant students English, especially since districts requested around $300 million but received only $40 million. At Arizona's largest district, with 73,000 students, Mesa Public Schools administrators received $1.8 million in state money for the new English-learner program, but they expect to spend about $7 million. It meant digging to find another $5.2 million out of a slim budget, which already had to be cut by $13 million. More than 100 district positions were left unfilled, including associate superintendent and school librarians.