February 9, 2013

English-Language Learners at Center of Dispute in Denver

From http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2013/02/english-language_learners_at_c.html

English-Language Learners at Center of Dispute in Denver
By Lesli A. Maxwell
February 1, 2013

Revisions to a federal consent decree have put Denver's English-language learners in the middle of a political tussle between the district's superintendent and three school board members.

Last week, Superintendent Tom Boasberg went before a federal judge expecting to win approval for changes to a consent decree connected to a nearly 40-year-old desegregation case. The updates to Denver's consent decree center on significant changes that the school district is making to its programs for English-language learners, who make up more than one-third of the 82,000-student system. Changes to Denver's ELL programs have been taking shape for a couple of years in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice and a civil rights group that was one of the original plaintiffs in the desegregation lawsuit.

But three members of the school board—two of whom are Latino and bilingual—sent a letter to the judge just before the hearing raising numerous concerns about the modifications. Among other things, they contend that programs for beginning English-learners are not being provided in charter schools and some district-run schools, and that too many teachers experienced at working with ELLs have been replaced with inexperienced Teach For America recruits.

Read the full article at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2013/02/english-language_learners_at_c.html

Read a related article at http://www.ednewscolorado.org/2013/01/25/55228-plan-for-dps-english-language-learners-delayed

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