The Council of Great City Schools 2017 District Operations Performance Measurement and Benchmarking Report from Fiscal Year 2015-16 is now live! Download here

Avoiding Government Shutdown May Be Tied To Creating a DACA Law

By Dr. David Holbrook | December 4, 2017

On September 5, 2017, when the Trump administration rescinded DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it sent shock waves throughout the immigrant community and caused uproar among advocates for immigration reform. Rescinding DACA put pressure on Congress to address this immigration issue by creating a legislative solution to replace the now rescinded executive action that created the DACA program.

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Avoiding the "Chilling Effect" While Enrolling Immigrant Students

By Alyssa Thornley | November 30, 2017

There is growing concern surrounding the impact that the Trump administration’s
decision to rescind (cancel) DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
program) will have on immigrants and their educational rights. In particular, the work that a school district does to collect information for school enrollment, or eligibility for Title III services, needs to be carefully conducted so as to not violate civil rights around the "chilling effect" (any practices that could intentionally or unintentionally dissuade immigrant families from enrolling their children as students). 

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"The Importance of Pronouncing My Name" - Take the My Name, My Identity Pledge

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 29, 2017

Pronouncing a person’s name incorrectly can give that person the impression that you don’t really care about him or her, or you feel like that person has ‘less’ value than others. A person’s name is an extension of who they are and is rooted in that person’s language, culture, and identity. Pronouncing a person’s name correctly affirms that person and may add to his or her self worth. Incorrectly pronouncing a person’s name almost always does the opposite.

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Parent Conference Forms Can Help Increase Parent Attendance in Required Meetings

By Dr. David Holbrook | September 14, 2017

Parent participation is an essential component to academic growth and achievement. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 considers parent participation so pivotal that sixteen different types of meetings are defined throughout the law. In this blog and in our free ebook, "The Parent Participation Form for Parent Meetings: What You Need To Know", we discuss best practices for raising participation in parent meetings, and review the components of an effective meeting notification.

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English Language Proficiency Standards and Reading/Language Arts Content Standards: What’s the Difference?

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 14, 2017

Over the years that I have worked with students learning English (English learners or ELs), I have met a number of well-meaning educators and parents that don't understand the difference between English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards and English content standards also know as reading/language arts content standards. For some parents and educators that don't have training or experience working with ELs, the idea that there are two types of English standards is confusing. 

So, I (and a number of my colleagues) was glad to see that the U.S Department of Education (USED) recently published guidance that specifically addressed this issue. 

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Increased Rigor for Content Standards Impacts the Amount of Students in EL Programs

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 11, 2017

Education Week recently published an article about the increased rigor in the new English Language Proficiency (ELP) test (assessment) ACCESS 2.0. ACCESS 2.0 is the ELP test made available through the WIDA consortium. According to the EdWeek article, and several other articles that have been published on this topic, significantly fewer English Learners (ELs) tested proficient in English on ACCESS 2.0 in comparison to previous years when the previous version of this test was used.

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Using Remaining Funds Prior to the New Budget Year to Start School Year 2017-18 Off Strong

By Tina Nguyen | May 29, 2017

In just one month the 2016-17 school year will end, and districts will begin to grapple with implementing changes required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) beginning July 1st, 2017. As the end of the budget year approaches, now is the time to leverage remaining allocated funds to address ESSA requirements for the upcoming 17-18 school year. 

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The Issue of N-Size in EL Accountability under ESSA

By Dr. David Holbrook | May 25, 2017

The National Council of State Title III Directors (NCSTIIID) hosted national meetings in Los Angeles, CA, jointly with the Council of the Great City Schools Bilingual Directors on May 16th and 17th. While many topics were discussed, one of the top concerns brought up by Title III Directors relates to the potentially significant reduction in the number of ELs that will be included in accountability determinations for making progress toward English proficiency under ESSA (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act 2015)

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ESSA Basics: What are Title I and Title III?

By Alyssa Thornley | May 24, 2017

On July 1st, 2017, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) as rule of the land, at least in education. ESSA is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which was first signed into law in 1965. The law reaffirms the commitment to equal opportunity for all U.S. students

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Immigration Enforcement: Congress Urges Trump Administration Officials to Reiterate Commitment to Uphold Plyler v. Doe

By Dr. David Holbrook | April 12, 2017

During the first week of April, members of Congress sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly asking them to uphold the educational provisions of Plyler v. Doe regarding the provision of access to a public education regardless of the child’s or parent’s immigration status.

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