ELL News Headlines

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In a Heavily Puerto Rican City, Schools Scramble to Help Students Displaced By Hurricane

Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico last year, more than 24,000 students have left for the U.S. mainland and more than 400 came to Hartford, Connecticut, where a third of residents identify as Puerto Rican. Now, Hartford is working to support the students amid a series of budget difficulties. Ivette Feliciano reports on the challenges facing the school system and students.

Arizona Lawmakers Consider Alternatives for English-Language Learners

After years of forcing students who aren't proficient in English into four-hour blocks of intensive English immersion that research shows is ineffective, Arizona lawmakers are considering alternatives. Legislation to allow English-language learners to enroll in dual language courses unanimously cleared an Arizona Senate Education Committee Thursday, moving the state one step closer toward ending what some educators call more than a decade of educational "malpractice."

English Only: Millennials Reflect on Growing Up Latino in Arizona Schools

Ana Maria Rodriguez, a social worker from Phoenix, was born and raised in Arizona. But she didn’t start learning how to speak, read and write in English until she began taking bilingual classes in elementary school. That’s because Rodriguez’s parents, who immigrated from Mexico before she was born, spoke only Spanish. So when her elementary school — the only means she had to learn English — traded in its bilingual classes for state-mandated English-only immersion programs, she felt stumped. She said the English-only policies, required by the 2003 ballot initiative Proposition 203, caused her to feel ashamed of not speaking English fluently. That, in turn, caused her to resent her own identity. "I hated, hated, hated, hated being Hispanic, or being Mexican, and speaking that language because I felt like other people didn't like me," Rodriguez said. "I’ve always had that insecurity." Rodriguez isn’t alone. Many millennial-aged Latinos say the state's push for English-only education affected the way they viewed their transnational identities and cultures.

To Reduce Chronic School Absences, Cleveland Focuses on Positive Family Support

A few years ago, Cleveland Public Schools found that more than half of their students were chronically absent, missing at least 10 percent of school. While they've made steady progress to address the problem, like may school districts around the country, they still have a ways to go. Special correspondent Kavitha Cardoza of Education Week reports.

Report: To Help Young ELLs Thrive, Cultivate Home Languages and Cultures

With the nation's school-age population becoming more linguistically and culturally diverse, early-childhood educators should do more to embrace the differences that the nation's youngest English-learners bring to the classroom, a new report from the Migration Policy Institute concludes.

‘My grandmother was my drive’: Navajo Returns to Her Roots to Serve Her People – And Achieves a First in the Process

Patients walking through the doors of the dental clinic where Crystal Willie Sekaquaptewa practices in Monument Valley, Utah, have often traveled at least two hours to see her. They’ve crossed barren plains and desert or wound down mountain roads, more than likely not encountering an urban area or a shopping center to speak of, and maybe not even another traveler. And there’s a good chance that their only language is one of the several Navajo dialects spoken across the 27,000-square mile expanse of the Navajo reservation spanning Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. "It's very rural," said Sekaquaptewa, the first Native American woman dentist in the Utah Navajo Health System.

Giving Low-Income Students Enough Support to Graduate, Colleges Face Financial Catch-22

At a time when federal, state and institutional policies are backing away from helping low-income, first-generation and ethnic and racial minority students, a few colleges are spending significant amounts of time and money on providing such help, using a model piloted by City University of New York, or CUNY. Some of these schools are trying to buck the trends that are making it even harder than it was before for these students to get to and through college. But they're also looking out for their own self-interest. Public university and college budgets are increasingly dependent on how many students graduate. And all institutions, including private ones, are struggling with enrollment declines. The students in the greatest supply are precisely those who need the most help.

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