Texas will probably appeal a court ruling mandating a new language program for an estimated 140,000 junior high and high school students who don't have command of the English language, state officials said Monday. Legislative leaders said curriculum improvements for that group of mostly Hispanic students are probably on the way regardless of the appeal.
Advancing efforts to improve the educational achievement of the fastest-growing student population in the nation's schools was the focus of a symposium co-sponsored by ETS and the National Council of La Raza in January, according to Michael T. Nettles, ETS senior vice president of policy evaluation and research, and Delia Pompa, vice president of education for the National Council of La Raza.
When the Yonkers, New York, public schools sought to hire a Chinese-language teacher, Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio expected to fill the job within weeks. He was off by two years. Schools in the U.S. face a shortage of instructors in Chinese, stymieing efforts to prepare pupils for careers tied to China, the world's fastest-growing economy.
17-year-old Milton Quinteros credits the advice of a teacher last school year for why he and his sister are taking summer English classes. "The teacher said: 'You need to learn more English. You need summer school. You need to speak English,'" he said. Though neither Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in Alexandria, VA, nor the National Council for Teachers of English, in Urbana, IL, keeps statistics on summer programs, numerous school district Web sites around the country tout summer programs tailored for ELLS.
In her "Learning the Language" blog on <em>Education Week</em>, Mary Ann Zehr recently noted the following press release released by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's office: "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) today announced that they are introducing legislation that will help newcomers integrate into America's social and economic fabric through English language education, civics instruction, incentives for businesses that invest in the education of their non-English speaking employees, and federal support for state and local plans to integrate new immigrants."
Community leaders, teachers, and parents agree that Rochester, NY's school district needs to re-evaluate its bilingual-education program to determine whether its teaching methods play a role in the low graduation rates and high drop-out rates plaguing Latino students. "We, as a community, need to come together and continue to push for equity for our kids," said Hilda Rosario Escher, president and chief executive officer of the Ibero-American Action League, at a forum held to discuss the issue.
A federal judge has thrown out his own judgment last summer that the state of Texas was doing an adequate job of educating students with limited English skills. U.S. Senior District Judge William Wayne Justice's ruling issued Friday gives the state until the end of January to establish a language program that ensures equal education opportunities in all schools. Judge Justice said in his new ruling that the Texas Education Agency is violating the civil rights of Spanish-speaking students under the federal Equal Education Opportunity Act.
George S. Alarid, Alexander M. Martinez, and two other students, all 15-year-old rising sophomores at Colorado high schools, are building a bridge. That is, they're trying to. The teams of students each are all a part of SciTech Summer Camp at the University of Colorado and three other Western universities. The program is part of a large effort specifically aimed at getting more Hispanic students into the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
North Carolina's community college system said Friday it would continue to bar illegal immigrants from enrolling until officials can review a federal opinion that could allow it to drop the policy. The decision came shortly after the Attorney General's Office released a letter it received from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that said "individual states must decide for themselves whether or not to admit illegal aliens into their public post-secondary institutions."
Maria Villarreal is giving us the news, Paris Hilton style. She and her classmates are playing an improv game where they're producing a television news cast as an unlikely crew of characters. The sportscaster is a textbook computer nerd, constantly wiping his nose and pushing up his glasses. The weatherman is a hillbilly, whose forecast is, "Looks like a good day for growing crops." Drama and improv is one of the electives at Summer Quest, a program run by Colorado's Vail Mountain School and designed for middle school students who are learning a second language and need a way to keep up their English and math skills over the summer.