ELLs Can Integrate Effectively, Reports Emphasize
By guest blogger Alexandra Rice
August 1, 2011
A report recently released by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers puts forth the idea that the expansion of charter schools is good for educational equality. But it urges charter authorizers to do more to ensure that English-language learners have equal access to charter schools and that the schools serve them well. In an effort to educate charter authorizers on the unique characteristics of ELLs, the report's author gives a brief description of the diverse group, citing statistics such as that 10 percent of K-12 students nationwide are English-language learners, and 16.5 percent of charter students are ELLs. The report also highlights laws and regulations pertaining to ELLs that charter personnel should be aware of and it discusses features of effective schools serving ELLs that the author states can be successfully replicated.
Some of those features include implementing comprehensive English-language- development programs that align with academic development, increasing capacity to serve ELLs, providing fair and reliable assessments, and, notably, making preschool education more available.
How Latino children and ELLs can better be educated in preschools is now being studied more closely as well. One example of this is a case study published earlier this summer by the Foundation for Child Development on effectively educating ELLs in the pre-K through 3rd grade years. In the study, the researchers explore how Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland is a district with an effective model for closing the achievement gap between ELLs and fluent English speakers.
Read the full article and access links to both reports at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2011/08/by_guest_blogger_alexandra_ric.html