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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High Tech High School Pushes Hispanic Students to Become Top Achievers

A San Diego charter high school is aiming to close the education gaps between students of immigrant families and their counterparts by motivating them to acquire business and science skills and pursue college degrees. Paul Solman of the <em>NewsHour</em> offers the latest in a series of reports on this education initiative.

Some California Dropouts Finish High School but Don't Succeed Beyond, Study Finds

For most high school dropouts, reality sets in sooner or later: Without a high school diploma, their prospects in life are limited at best. A study released Thursday confirms that many California dropouts give school another try. But the California Dropout Research Project also reports that even dropouts who go back to school appear to stand little chance of success in college. And in an economy that increasingly prizes academic success, the outlook is bleak for those who don't return to school at all.

New Year, New Language for Some Students

The first day of school is a mix of excitement and anxiety. There's the new teacher, new classroom, new friends. There are new books, new names, new rules. And for more than 630 students in Virginia's Newport News public schools, a new language. On Tuesday morning, many of those students filled classrooms at Sedgefield Elementary School on Main Street. The elementary school is one of two in the district that provides English as a Second Language, or ESL, instruction. The classes are a blend of students for whom English is their native tongue, and students still mastering the language.

Arizona Still Grappling With Balance on Mandated ELL Instruction

Arizona education officials are giving school districts some room to diverge from a mandate that all English-language learners be taught specific English skills in classrooms separate from other students for four hours a day. Even so, the state is still pushing ahead with its overall requirement that districts provide intensive — and separate — instruction of English skills for those students, despite criticism from experts who say there is little evidence to support that approach.

Elementary Schools Lack Bilingual Aides This Year

Six teachers and two Hispanic parents from California's Barrett Elementary School arrived at a recent trustee's meeting to express their frustration about the lack of bilingual aides at the school this year. Parent Ana Mata's voice was shaky as she relayed a story about a typical day for Barrett's Spanish-speaking parents to a mum school board. The Morgan Hill Unified School District trustees didn't know how to respond to Mata, the mother of a second-grader, partly because at first she pointedly spoke entirely in Spanish even though she knows English. "I agreed to do the speech in Spanish so that you can a little bit relate on how we feel," Mata told the board later, in English. "It's really hard."

Teachers' Challenge: Diverse 21st-Century Class

In this editorial, Michael Hamill Remaley, vice president and director of communications for Public Agenda, a nonpartisan public opinion research and public engagement organization based in New York City, writes, "Imagine you are a first-year teacher standing in front of your class tomorrow on the first day of school. What do you see before you? If you're picturing a group of 15 to 20 well-behaved children from similar backgrounds with similar abilities and English-language skills, each prepared to absorb your words of wisdom, you are clearly not envisioning the 21st-century classroom."

Sticking to the Lesson Plan

Adjo Habia has always loved learning. And the 35-year-old African immigrant and native Ewe speaker says she's more enthusiastic than ever about helping her children do the same. With a GED in hand, American citizenship and fluency in English, Habia said she's only just begun. And recently, she was named Literacy Minnesota's Learner of the Year.

First-time Test Takers Post Modest Gains

San Mateo County students who took the California High School Exit Exam for their first time as sophomores showed slight improvement while their counterparts statewide posted stronger gains, according to the 2007-08 results released Tuesday. Statewide, 78 percent of 10th-graders passed math and 79 percent passed English-language arts — both two-point increases, according to the results.

Giving The Gift Of Literacy

With the growing ESL population in our city schools comes a matching number of adults in those households who do not speak English. The work of literacy organizations is imperative in helping these families assimilate into the community.

California School Celebrates Testing Achievements

Ocean Knoll wasn't the highest-scoring school in Encinitas Union School District on recent state tests, but it was by far the most improved. Its latest score on the state's Academic Performance Index — the annual measurement system that the state uses to track schools' progress — jumped by a dramatic 72 points this year, according to state data released last week. None of the eight other schools in the Encinitas Union district can touch that figure.