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Reorganization at U.S. Department of Education May Eliminate Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA)

By Dr. David Holbrook | February 16, 2018

The Trump administration’s proposal for a major overhaul of the organizational structure at the U.S. Department of Education (USED) includes the eventual elimination of the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), rolling it into the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). Doing this could compromise any singular focus at USED on students learning English as a second language (or third, etc.). This is because it combines all English learner (EL) programs administered by USED into the USED office where the largest funding stream that focuses on academics is located. OESE houses the Office of State Support (OSS), which is where Title I and other academic focused federal education programs reside. In the federal education funding world, Title I is the tail that wags the dog.

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3 Things Every Dual Language Leader Should Know

By Alyssa Thornley | December 29, 2017

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. This month, we are honored to feature Dr. José Medina, the Director of Global Language and Culture Education at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC.

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National Council of State Title III Directors to Host 2018 National Meetings

By Dr. David Holbrook | December 29, 2017

The National Council of State Title III Directors (NCSTIIID) has organized its 2018 National Meetings in coordination with the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) conference. The NCSTIIID 2018 National Meetings will take place during NABE’s pre-conference institutes at the same venue as NABE’s 2018 Conference. NABE’s pre-conference institutes are scheduled for February 28th, 2018 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, NM.

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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On September 5, 2017, when the Trump administration rescinded DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it sent shock waves throughout the immigrant community and caused uproar among advocates for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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