ESSA went into full implementation last school-year. This year, districts are preparing for state monitoring visits regarding ESSA Compliance.

Trump Issues Memo Calling for Tougher Path for Asylum Seekers

By Dr. David Holbrook | May 7, 2019

On April 29, 2019, the White House issued a memo for the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security with the subject of "Additional Measures to Enhance Border Security and Restore Integrity of Our Immigration System." These regulations could make it more difficult for immigrants seeking asylum as they limit their ability to be self sustaining during the asylum application process.

Not only would these regulations impose fees for the asylum application and employment authorization application, but for those that entered illegally, it would also bar them from receiving employment authorization during the asylum process. Asylum seekers with school age children could potentially be negatively impacted by the changes outlined in these proposed regulations.

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What is "Public Charge?"

By Dr. David Holbrook | April 4, 2019

The current administration and the Department of Homeland security have proposed changes to the rule called "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds." For educators, the group that the Public Charge policy and the proposed changes to that policy most closely impacts is students in immigrant families. 

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First Two Chapters of EL Family Tool Kit Released

By Dr. David Holbrook | March 26, 2019

The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) at the U.S. Department of Education (USED) has announced the release of the first two chapters of a new resource, the "English Learner Family Tool Kit". The English Learner (EL) Family Tool Kit will eventually contain six chapters or topics when complete. Release dates for additional chapters are not provided but will likely be announced by USED.

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New FERPA Frequently Asked Questions Document Released

By Dr. David Holbrook | March 7, 2019

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has released a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that pulls together information regarding the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and how that law relates to school safety. The FERPA FAQ guidance came not long after they released their 2018 Student Privacy Guidance.

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EL Advocacy Resources from the National Council of State Title III Directors

By Alyssa Thornley | March 6, 2019

The National Council of State Title III Directors (soon re-branding to the National Association of English Learner Program Administrators) held a council meeting and professional development conference in Coronado Springs, Florida on March 6, 2019. NCSTIIID's professional development purposes include ensuring that members are knowledgeable of effective administration of national and state programs for the education of EL students and ensuring that members are knowledgeable of the laws governing the administration of language development programs.

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National ESEA Conference - Top Sessions for Educators of English Learners

By Dr. David Holbrook | January 23, 2019

English Learners are an integral population and a large focus of the National ESEA Conference (formerly the National Title I Conference), as they were before the conference was re-branded. While the comprehensive approach boasts content that serves more populations and Title Programs, there are still many presentations that focus on ELs. This includes my presentation, ESSA Title I EL Requirements for All Title I Funded Districts, Wednesday, Jan. 30th at 11:30am.

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National ESEA Conference - Top Sessions for Educators Working with Students Experiencing Homelessness

By Dr. David Holbrook | January 15, 2019

There are increasingly more resources for administrators who make students experiencing homelessness a priority demographic for their schools and districts. At the National ESEA Conference in January, there were presentations with this focus as well.

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New ESSA RoadMap Now Available

By Dr. David Holbrook | October 30, 2018

The School Support and Improvement ESSA RoadMap is now available.

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Parent Communications and Translations: Machine vs. Human Translation – What’s the Difference?

By Dr. David Holbrook | September 6, 2018

Proactive schools and school districts are finding and using all means available to communicate with parents, including English learner (EL) students and parents with limited English proficiency (LEP). In an article from District Administration titled “Tech: A language translator allows districts to reach out to ELLs”, a number of creative and innovative solutions are discussed. This includes the use of machine translation (computer-assisted translation) tools, such as Google Translate.

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Guest Blog: Understanding the Impact of Historical Trauma for the Education of Native American Children

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 15, 2018

As part of our commitment to provide school district administrators with resources and guidance on federal program compliance and administration, we regularly publish blogs featuring guest writers. We are honored to feature a co-written article between TransACT Executive Director of Federal Compliance and State Relationships, Dr. Holbrook, and his former colleague Keja Nokomis Whiteman, 

an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians discussing the importance of incorporating cultural history to support positive learning outcomes for Native Americans. 

I was motivated to initiate the writing of this blog when I saw a news story via Politico about the return of the remains of four Native American children from the graveyard associated with the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, one of the boarding schools that were part of past attempts to forcibly assimilate Native Americans into the dominant American culture. The mortality rate for Native American students at this school was approximately 2%. The school operated from 1879 through 1918 and over that time period housed about 10,000 students.

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