Thursday, May 9, 2013

ELL Dropouts - what are we doing about it?

According to a new report published by the California Dropout Research Project ELL students are twice as likely to drop out as their native English speaking peers.  When I first read this it didn't shock me - and then I thought about it and it shocked me that it didn't shock me.  Why do we just accept this?  Why has a culture of low expectations been built around ELLs?  In the report by Rebecca Callahan, she sites the fact that many ELLs are in separate ELL classes much of their day and do not receive enough content instruction.  She encourages the use of the students' primary language to ensure more content knowledge.  I also dream of a day when all teachers are able to provide rigorous academic content instruction based on the student's English proficiency level.  We have the standards, we have the knowledge... do we have the skills - and more importantly - do we believe it can happen?  Are we willing to work hard to make it happen? To read more click this link  Stemming the Tide of English Learner Dropouts

Thursday, May 2, 2013

DREAM act passes House in MN!

The DREAM act is on the verge of reality and it restores my faith in MN that's almost reality here. See this news article for updates.

I remember attending a meeting with other educators about advocating for the DREAM act in MN - 15 years ago! There were undocumented students there working hard on the issue. Since it took 15 years to get this far - I wonder where they are now? Did they get a chance at their dream? I think about what I'm advocating for now- fair testing, equal access, quality communication with families, all educators taking responsibility for ELLs learning, and much more. what if it takes 15 years? What factors and actions can speed up this process? How does change happen?