New federal law puts spotlight on English learners

Ed Source – John Fensterwald

“In passing the Every Student Succeeds Act, Congress rolled back the federal government’s overall reach into testing requirements for K-12 education. But there is a significant exception: English learners. The successor law to the No Child Left Behind Act significantly expands states’ obligations to measure the progress of students who don’t yet communicate fluently or learn effectively in English. The law also compels them to act when schools consistently fail to help those students become proficient.”(more)

English one day, Español the next: Dual-language learning expands with a South Bronx school as a model

The Hechinger Report – Margaret Ramirez

“At Public School 73 in the South Bronx, 8-year-old Arlette Espallat is reading aloud in Spanish about animals found in “el bosque” or, the forest. Her voice rises as she brings the faraway images to the noisy classroom. Later in the week, Arlette and her classmates will read in English about the life of Olympic medalist Wilma Rudolph. But, ask the chatty third-grader which language she likes best and she gives a thoughtful answer. “I like Spanish better. That’s because I know if I learn my own language, then I will be better in reading and writing English,” she said. Several educators agree with Arlette’s reasoning. In New York City and other parts of the nation, dual-language schools and education programs are on the rise as a way to better prepare students for jobs in a globalized economy. The programs provide instruction in two languages in order to help students develop proficiency in both.”(more)

Progress on Remediation

Inside Higher Ed – Ashley A. Smith

“College and state officials in Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia and other places where they’ve been working to reform remedial education are seeing dramatic increases in students completing college-level courses. Those are the findings in a new report from Complete College America, a nonprofit group that advocates for one approach to improve remedial education known as corequisite remediation. CCA released a report Thursday showing significant gains in states that have partnered with the organization to eliminate traditional remediation. The corequisite approach encourages colleges to take students who need remediation and place them in college-level, or gateway, English and math courses, but to pair those courses with additional supports. However, this type of remediation has faced controversy.”(more)

Boosting the role of parents of English learners in preschools

Ed Source – Sarah Tully

“Selene Ramirez has a lot on her plate caring for her three children and two nieces who live at her home in Buena Park, near Anaheim, but she finds the time to spend 15 minutes every day with each child – reading, writing or working on crafts. A few years ago, Ramirez, who came to the United States from Nayarit, Mexico, about 13 years ago, was unsure about how best to help her children and nieces – now ages 4 to 9 – prepare for school. But a twice-a-week parent-and-toddler class called the Early Literacy and Math Program, run by the nonprofit organization Think Together, gave her additional tools. Family involvement is key to helping all preschool children prepare academically for kindergarten and beyond, experts say. But involving families like Ramirez’s, with parents or other caregivers who don’t speak English well, is especially challenging. Cultural differences and a lack of resources among the state’s approximately 50,000 early child care providers compounds the problem.”(more)

New country, new life, new challenge

China Daily- Wang Fan and Yuan Yue

“Every year, thousands of young Chinese head overseas to study. For many, the thrill of moving into a new environment is overshadowed by feelings of alienation and a lack of friends in their host country. Wang Fan and Yuan Yue report from New York.On a summer day in 2010, 18-year-old Jane Yu quick-stepped through the cool morning wind in Iowa in the central United States, a backpack slung over her shoulder. She was a freshman at Iowa State University.Recently published statistics show that more than 304,000 students from China studied at US colleges and universities during the 2014-15 academic year, accounting for 31.2 percent of the international students in the country.”(more)