Special Education, ESL or Both? The Case for Dual Language Assessment

Editors note: At Ellevation, we take pride in sharing insights from exceptional practitioners across the country about promising instructional models from the field. Here’s an article from Diane Staehr Fenner, president of DSF Consulting and an author of many works in the field of EL education. 

Recently published research starkly proves what many ELL educators already know: ELL students are routinely under or over-identified in Special Education programs. Too often, ELL students in need are denied special services because district professionals cannot differentiate between a language barrier or learning disability. Alternatively, many ELL students placed in Special Education programs have later been found to have no disability at all. Even when students are properly referred for special services, they may often receive the wrong types of services - witness the astonishingly high incidence of autism among Asian American students. Thousands of children and families may suffer as a result of misidentification.

Topics: Leadership, Standards & Instruction

Meet the Ellevation Texas Team

I love my job. As the CEO of Ellevation, nearly every week I have the opportunity to work with district leaders, ELL specialists and administrators and classroom teachers to support their work with English Language Learners. I visit districts all over the country and enjoy the opportunity to learn about each of the 33 states where Ellevation now works. Over the course of the past 4 years, this work has reinforced my perspective that each state is unique.

Topics: Leadership

Why All The Fuss About Collaboration?

ellevation-tulsa-7-1Victor Hugo famously said “there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Within the field of language acquisition, the idea with greatest momentum at the start of 2015 is collaboration. I think it is here to stay.

Topics: Leadership

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