Saturday, July 27, 2013

A new resource for EL Advocacy

Ok - I love gadgets.  I've been wanting to play with a new one for awhile - Scoop It! is a combo newsclip/Twitter feed type program that allows you to "curate" on topics of your interest.  Mine is EL Advocacy of course - so I put a link to the electronic newsletter on my blog and here's the direct link if you're so inclined to bookmark it.  :)    I hope to be able to quickly post the things that strike my fancy regarding ELLs so others will be informed and better able to advocate too!  :D

Friday, July 19, 2013

What? NCLB is in the news?

It seems like NCLB has slipped quietly into the night while Race to the Top stepped forward and did a victory dance.  However, NCLB (which is really the federal ESEA law) is technically still in place and Race to the Top has been an end-run move to avoid disaster.  Now the legislature has taken up NCLB again to hopefully re-authorize this law that is well overdue for reauthorization.   See this article for more details on how NCLB changes (largely Republican supported) would affect ELLs.

ELLs and the Debate Over the No Child Left Behind Rewrite

Basically the reauthorized law would back way off on accountability measures by removing the teacher evaluation requirement (it would be optional), eliminating target proficiency for subgroups (including ELLs), allowing for more assessment information rather than just state assessments, and allowing a three-year waiver for newly arrived ELLs before having to take state assessments.   This is a pretty drastic turn-around from a group that started the "big stick" approach to educating all children with NCLB in 2001.  Interestingly, Democrats largely favor a version of the bill that is a tweaking of Race to the Top which some have come to describe as NCLB on steroids - more teacher evaluation, more rigorous achievement targets for subgroups, etc....   Now I'm really confused.  Where's the law that will guarantee a quality education for every child?  How does that happen?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Teachers are awesome!

I've been working in Baltimore with AFT teachers on how to meet the needs of ELLs. I love the passion and determination of teachers. They are creative and make a difference for students every day. Failure is not an option. They introduced me to Kid President - check out the video and share how you make the works a better place.