Public schools have a responsibility to educate all students who enter their doors. This naturally includes children who arrive at school speaking a language other than English. Many educators have the training and skills they need to help students learn English while they are also learning English. But in far too many schools, they do not. As a result, English language learners struggle to succeed.
IDRA Policy Issues in 2013 for
Much is at stake as the Texas Legislature convenes in
Austin until June 2013. IDRA’s stands regarding student access to instruction are:
- No changes should be made to the state’s kindergarten-elementary bilingual programs, but secondary level programs for English language learners should be revised to provide options for native language instruction and/or sheltered instruction in the content areas.
- The state should modify its procedures for monitoring ELL performance at elementary, middle and high school levels by disaggregating ELL performance data for each grade level sub-group.
IDRA’s stand regarding special program funding is:
- State aid for students served in bilingual education or compensatory education/accelerated instructional programs should be increased to 40 percent of regular program costs.
Find out why and see more on IDRA’s other policy issues for this session in
Major changes in state policy and local school and district practices are essential. IDRA’s policy update released April 2009, shows that huge achievement gaps at the middle and high school level in particular show need for changes in policy, teacher training and evaluation. Models can be found in those schools that are demonstrating how English language learners can be more effectively served.
IDRA’s Education of English Language Learners in U.S. and Texas Schools – Where We Are, What We Have Learned and Where We Need to Go from Here – A 2009 Update gives an overview of increasing numbers of ELL students, distribution of ELL students, increasing diversity and varying languages, instructional programs provided, and funding provided to ELL programs along with recommendations.
Read Education of English Language Learners in U.S. and Texas Schools – Where We Are, What We Have Learned and Where We Need to Go from Here – A 2009 Update (pdf) or order your copy for $7.
IDRA presents a research-based framework that provides guidance for design, implementation and evaluation of an effective English language learner program.
IDRA Testifies Before the
Senate Education Committee About ELL Education
IDRA’s Dr. Albert Cortez presented testimony state policies affecting the education of English language learners, particularly at the secondary level. “Our conclusion was that the PBMAS system’s use of aggregated district LEP data tends to miss many individual schools whose LEP students are not performing well on TAKS.”
Get an overview of what happened in bilingual/ESL policy in 2009 in Texas – see “Post-Legislative Session Summary on Proposed Changes to Texas Bilingual Education Monitoring Procedures, Secondary Level ESL Program Reforms, and Related Litigation,” by Albert Cortez, Ph.D.
U.S. Supreme Court ruling on
’s funding for programs serving English language learners – Read a statement by Dr. María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, IDRA president and CEO, regarding the ruling and a summary of what the court said. Other resources by
and MALDEF are available here as well.
Also, IDRA has rigorously and methodically studied exemplary bilingual education programs in schools across the nation as determined by limited English proficient students’ academic achievement. As a result, we identified the 25 common characteristics that contribute to high academic performance of students served by bilingual education programs.
Listen to “Reflections on Bilingual Education Today and Beyond” IDRA Classnotes Podcast Episode 65