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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Arizona ELL-Funding Plan Draws Scattered Backlash

Some Arizona school administrators are unhappy about the formula being used to distribute an extra $40.6 million for English-language learners in the state for next school year to satisfy a court order. They argue that the formula shortchanges some districts that have many ELLs while giving a windfall to others with few such students.

Bay Area Immigration Raids on Homes Panic Schools, Politicians

Immigration arrests at homes in Berkeley and Oakland on Tuesday sent a wave of panic among parents in both cities, as authorities mistakenly believed immigration agents were raiding schools. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were in both cities Tuesday, performing routine fugitive operations, spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. Teams go out virtually every day looking for specific "immigration fugitives," she said.Officers arrested four family members at a Berkeley home and a woman at an Oakland residence. They were not at schools. Yet, within the next few hours, rumors of raids circulated throughout the communities, and in Berkeley, school district officials sent out an automated phone message to all parents notifying them that a Latino family had been picked up and assuring them that the district would "not allow any child to be taken away from the school."

Latino Children's Book Conference Draws Educators to South Carolina

Seeing Latino children's books in schools and on library bookshelves is particularly important to the organizers of a recent conference on Latino Children's Books in South Carolina. "As a Latino growing up in Boston, I never saw myself in a book," says Julia Lopez-Robertson, Assistant Professor at the USC College of Education. Lopez-Robertson teamed up with USC School of Library and Information Science Assistant Professor Jamie Naidoo to organize the upcoming conference, which would include children's authors and illustrators, teachers, and librarians.

Experts Discuss Myths about Latino Kids

Pew census data shows that about a quarter of children younger than five in the U.S. are of Hispanic decent. Pedro Noguera, professor of education at New York University; and Jeffrey Passel, from the Pew Hispanic Center, discuss the rising number of Latino children and what it means for America.

When You Barely Speak English, Even a Math Test Is Baffling

Maryam Rahmatillayeva, a usually cheerful fifth-grader from Uzbekistan, knows how to use a computer mouse and can read some English. But the question she faced recently on a practice Idaho Standards Achievement Test in math stumped her nonetheless. "Which is the best estimate of how long a basketball game lasts?" was the query. The possible answers: one minute, one hour, 10 minutes, 10 hours. Maryam didn't know. "I not play basketball," she said. She frowned at the screen for a while and then made a guess so she could move on to the next question. She picked 10 minutes.

Proposed ELL Interpretation Would Require More Standardization

Friday's <em>Federal Register</em> contains a proposed "interpretation" of the No Child Left Behind Act that, if put into effect, will require states to make some big changes in their policies regarding English-language learners. One of the biggest changes that I see is that states will have to use the same criteria for deciding when English-language learners exit from programs as they use to determine if students have attained proficiency in English for reporting purposes under accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

In Tuition Aid Rules, Immigration Debate Meets Reality

As the immigration debate continues to evolve, some states are denying children of undocumented immigrants government grants and tuition loans offered to low-income students to help pay for college. Lee Hochberg reports on how undocumented students are coping.

Win for Bilingual Education

In what some hailed as "a victory" for kids who are still learning English, a federal judge Thursday ordered 100 principals to answer written questions about what kind of services they are providing to hundreds of Chicago public school students in bilingual education programs. The ruling came after federal and civil rights attorneys demanded action on a 2007 report indicating some English language learners (most of them Latino) have been taught in hallways or on auditorium stages, pulled from class to act as translators, or denied special education services.

Education Fund for Latin American Baseball Players Quietly Changes Lives

As major league baseball pulses to an ever stronger salsa beat, most fans see only the rising number of Latin Americans among the batting leaders and in All-Star Games. They do not see the other 95 percent — the anonymous Caribbean teenagers who sign professional contracts, spend years languishing in the minor leagues and return to their homelands without an education. A virtually unknown stockbroker from San Jose, CA, however, has spent 25 years as a silent baseball benefactor. Don Odermann has arranged and financed scholarships for more than 100 young players from Caribbean countries to attend colleges in the United States.

Chicago Schools Punching up Their Foreign Language Programs in the Name of Globalism

Chicago Public Schools will expand its foreign language curriculum next year, teaching more students Chinese and Arabic and launching Russian in several schools, officials announced Wednesday. The expansion, which will be paid for by cuts in other parts of the budget, will allow officials to hire about 15 new language teachers for 15 schools.

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