Spring Cleaning: Dusting off your EL Student Data to Identify Support Needs

I’ll admit that I’m a clean freak. So naturally when I received the Spring Cleaning issue of my home improvement magazine, I expected to breeze through their cleaning checklist with ease. Most of their tips were already a regular part of my weekly routine, but I felt my stomach turn when I read Tip #12.  

Topics: Policy, District Spotlights

ELL Instruction and Compliance: Note the And, not Or

While US Deputy Secretary of Education John King was meeting with undocumented students in San Francisco last week, members of our team were engaging with teachers and administrators who work most closely with these students in our public school systems in nearly every state across the country. In nearly all of these conversations we hear from ESL and Bilingual Program Directors who express that their work is both exhausting and gratifying, and that to be successful they need tools and solutions focused on BOTH compliance AND instruction.

Topics: Policy

ELL Educators Convene in Tulsa to Discuss Student Needs, Technology Solutions

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend the 4th Annual Tulsa ELD Summit and present on behalf of Ellevation to a group of 100+ dedicated ELD educators from across Oklahoma. Now that the summit is over, these educators are bringing best practices back to their district to better serve English Language Learners

Topics: Policy

Texas ELL Educators and Administrators: The LPAC Assessment Season is Upon Us

ESL and Bilingual educators have played a critical role in our schools and society for a very long time. With significant workloads and few resources, they work hard to nurture the development of English Language Learners, welcome and teach the children of refugees from all over the world, and often help children become proficient in two languages—an outcome now recognized as contributing to success in many ways. The importance of their work is now growing as the percentage of English Language Learners grows nationally from about 10% currently to a predicted 25% in the coming generation. We need to do more to support their work.

Texas State Sen. José Rodríguez wrote recently that given demographic shifts, our children will either be “limited in English proficiency or will be proficient in two or more languages.” Senator Rodriguez advocates for an increase in funding for Bilingual and ESL programs, a policy shift which has great merit. In addition to an increase in funding, there are enhancements and changes to policies and programs that can help determine pathways for our nation’s students.

Topics: Policy

Central American Refugees: Challenges of Identifying & Placing Minors

This past summer, much of the political and media establishment was focused on the influx of undocumented children from Central America. The stories were often framed in the context of our nation’s rancorous immigration debate, and brought out both the best and the worst of our national character.

Although not without our own politics, our practical focus here at Ellevation is always on ELL students, and the educators that serve them. Now that the school year is underway, and unaccompanied Central American minors are starting new lives as US public school students, we wanted to take stock of what is happening “on the ground.” And specifically, we wanted to highlight issues around the challenges of identification and placement for this population of students.

Topics: Policy

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