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

Opposition to Elimination of USED’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) comes from EL Advocacy Groups and Congress

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 5, 2018

Back in February I wrote about the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos’, proposed reorganization of the U.S. Department of Education (USED) that would eliminate the USED’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). Since then, a group of 18 EL advocacy organizations and members of the U.S. Congress have written letters in opposition to the elimination of OELA.

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Do Charter School Students Achieve Greater Educational Outcomes?

By Alyssa Thornley | June 22, 2018

Charter schools continue to be a hotly debated topic in the world of education, with educators and administrators tending to be either strongly for, or strongly against, the charter school movement. No matter if you are pro-charter school or anti-charter school, there are many facts and figures that seem to support both sides of this movement.

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How Funding for Charter Schools has Evolved Over Time

By Alyssa Thornley | June 15, 2018

School choice is a hot topic in the education world, especially lately. With the change in presidential administration, there have been many promises regarding how charters schools may be a mechanism for education reform. This conversation really began back in the late 1980s, when Albert Shanker rocked the educational world with his speech on school choice, and a subsequent New York Times article that became widely circulated.

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How do English Language Learners Perform in Charter Schools?

By Alyssa Thornley | June 8, 2018

Charter schools are known throughout the U.S. for endeavoring to provide students with resources to better channel their energies into their studies by experimenting with new or modified methodologies. Depending on the charter network you visit, you might see strategies focused on increased parental involvement, modified school days, smaller class sizes, and/or a greater level of attention for those who need more assistance, such as special education students and English Language Learners (ELLs).

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Supreme Court Rejects Trump DACA Appeal Request

By Dr. David Holbrook | February 28, 2018

In January 2018 I wrote a blog about a federal judge in California blocking the Trump administration's efforts to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program). On February 13, 2018 a second federal judge issued a temporary block to the end of DACA. According to the current timeline, the DACA program is set to end on March 5, 2018. The ruling by these two judges has temporarily block the end of DACA and opened the door for current DACA recipients to apply to renew their DACA status until the legal challenges to rescinding DACA are settled. Renewals were suspended on October 5, 2017 following the September 5, 2017 rescission of DACA. This will very likely allow DACA recipients to continue to apply for renewal past the March 5, 2018 looming deadline.

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Dead on Arrival - Trump's Budget Proposal to Cut 21st Century Community Learning Center Funds

By Alyssa Thornley | February 15, 2018

On February 12, 2018 the White House budget proposal was released, outlining Trump's priorities for funding the 2019-2020 school year (Fiscal Year 2019 or FY2019). This proposal included cutting the same two major programs that Trump proposed to cut for FY2018, Title II and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Title IV, Part B). Dr. David Holbrook, Executive Director of Federal Programs and State Relationships, provides commentary on the budget at www.21cclc.com. Read more here.

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ESSA RoadMaps: What You Need to Know for ESSA Compliance

By Alyssa Thornley | October 9, 2017

Transact RoadMaps are a compliance and guidance component of TransACT Parent Notices subscriptions that existing subscribers can access at any time. RoadMaps use a series of yes/no questions to guide educators through the process of determining which parent notices are required to send out in a particular time period or situation. This helps educators to create a list of notices they need based on the unique characteristics of their school and/or school district. RoadMaps are a helpful, time-saving compliance tool for:

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ESSA State Plan Submissions: 4 States Receive Deadline Extension

By Dr. David Holbrook | September 20, 2017

If a State wants funding that comes through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA/ESSA), then it must submit an "ESSA State Plan" that describes how it will use that funding to benefit students in that State. The two deadlines to submit ESSA State Plans were April 3, 2017 and September 18, 2017, but not all states have submitted their plans.

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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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