Together is a statewide coalition of parents, teachers,
education advocates and civil rights groups committed to securing
equal access to quality education for all children.
in 1998 after the passage of Proposition 227, Californians Together
joined with other organizations to foster full participation in
a democratic society through quality education for children and
parents from underserved communities.
Does Your Local Control Accountability Plan Deliver on the Promise of Improved or Increased Services for English Learners?
The intent of California's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is to give districts more flexibility with their state funding but at the same time to create a new school finance system that recognizes that students with specific demographic factors need greater support to address their academic needs and improve educational outcomes: English Learners, low income students and foster youth. As Governor Brown stated in January 2013, "Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice". LCFF recognized that English Learners have additional academic needs requiring additional resources to "improve or increase services". LCFF was designed as a step towards a more equitable school finance system. Read more...
California is the First State in the Nation to Define and Identify English Learners who After Many Years are Struggling to Succeed
Sacramento: Three out of four (74%) English Learner students in grades 6 -12 have been in California schools for 7 years or more and are still without the English skills they need to succeed academically. Because this is longer than it should take to attain English proficiency, they are called "Long Term English Learners" (LTELs). The numbers compiled by the California Department of Education for the first time by any state in the nation, is part of an effort to ensure these students get the educational support they need. This is the first of what will be annual releases of school level and district level data on LTELs being reported as a result of legislation passed in 2012, (AB 2193, Lara) that defined who a Long Term English Learner (LTEL) is and also set criteria for identifying Students at Risk of Becoming a Long Term English Learner. No other state in the union has shone such a clear light on this issue. Read More...
ANNOUNCEMENT of NEW PUBLICATION
"The California Campaign for Biliteracy"
by Laurie Olsen,Ph.D.
A CaliforniansTogether Publication
Building upon the momentum and statewide engagement in the State Seal of Biliteracy, Californians Together is announcing "The California Campaign for Biliteracy". Parents, students and districts are asking about tools to help development multiple pathways to biliteracy prek-12th grade leading to all students being eligible for the State Seal of Biliteracy. This campaign describes and supports the development of strong, articulated, equitably accessible preschool through high school programs and learning opportunities that will prepare students with high level proficiency in two or more languages.
Thispublication is a tool to help schools and districts build multiple pathways tobiliteracy. Included in the publicationis information about the benefits and background on biliteracy, language learning opportunities, awardcriteria, and guidance to begin a district effort to implement multiplepathways to biliteracy.
Completethe order form with this announcement, and fax, email or mail with payment bycheck, p.o. or credit card to:
525 East Seventh Street, #207
Long Beach,California, CA 90813
Questions: call 562-983-1333
Click to download publication
English Learners and the Common Core: A Parent Toolkit
"English Learner Success in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):$0Your Voice, Your Advocacy: A Guide for Parents on How Your Support and the CCSS can Help Your Children Succeed in School"$0Available in English and Spanish$0This guide has been developed to help parents understand what the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are and how these standards will impact the academic success of English learners once they are implemented in the classroom. The guide provides information for parents to use when speaking with their child’s teacher, principal and other school staff to make sure he or she receives the learning supports to succeed academically. The Toolkit includes: • Background information on the opportunities and challenges that the Common Core Standards present for curriculum, instruction and assessment of English Learners • Focus on Common Core teaching practices and what instruction should look like in the classroom • Description of extra help English learners will need to meet the new Standards • Talking points and questions for parents to insert the needs of English Learners in Common Core Standards dialogues and discussions at their district or school site and the CCSS can Help Your Children Succeed in School
Brownley Puts the California Seal of Biliteracy on the National Stage
Representative Julia Brownley (D - Westlake Village) introduced the Biliteracy Education Seal and Teaching (BEST Act, legislation that would help states create a State Seal of Bilteracy to recognize high school students graduating with proficiency in both English and a second language. The BEST Act would establish a grant program at the Department of Education supporting states to establish and improve their own Biliteracy Seal programs. Read the press release, the text of the bill and our letter of support below.
NEW PUBLICATION "Raise Your Voice on Behalf of English Learners: The English Learners and Common Core Advocacy Toolkit
Californians Together views the advent of the Common Core Standards as an opportunity to strengthen the schooling of English Learners. We also recognize that any reform that increases rigor and does not address how English Learners will be supported to master that rigor can exacerbate the barriers and achievement gaps that have characterized the education of English Learners for too long.
To ensure that the Common Core Standards are implemented in a way that fully includes English Learners and that meets their unique language development and access needs, we have published "Raise Your Voices for English Learners: The English Learners and Common Core Advocacy Toolkit". This Advocacy Toolkit has prepared talking points for use by educators, policy makers, parents and community members in dialogues at the local, district and state levels - raising concerns, pushing for the supports needed to realize the Common Core for English learners, and advancing the vision of English Learner education that the Common Core can make possible.
The Toolkit includes:
- Background paper on the opportunities and challenges that the Common Core Standards present for curriculum, instruction and assessment of English Learners
- Talking points for policy makers, school site, district and count level educators to insert the needs of English Learners in Common Core Standards dialogues
- A palm card with key issues to be raised that can support the needs of ELs in any Common Core conversation
- Power point presentation to address the needs of English Learners which implementing the Common Core Standards
- A CD containing the PDFs of all the documents in the kit plus two resource articles
Californians Together Won the Migration Policy Institute 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prize - Awardees Discuss Immigrant Integration
The winners of the Migration Policy Institute's 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes,honoring exceptional immigrant integration work happening in the United States,discussed their initiatives during a plenary luncheon on September 24, 2012 atthe National Immigrant Integration Conference held in Baltimore, MD. During aQ&A with MPI Senior Vice President Michael Fix, leaders with ACCESS (theArab Community Center for Economic and Social Services), Building SkillsPartnership, Californians Together, and Citi Community Development discussedkey aspects of their work. At discussion's end, the winners received their EPluribus Unum Prizes from Brad Davidson, a trustee of the J.M. Kaplan Fund,which generously funds the prizes program.Click here for video
ANNOUNCEMENT of NEW CALIFORNIANS TOGETHER PUBLICATION
“Secondary School Courses Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long TermEnglish Learners”by Laurie Olsen, Ph.D.Well over half of the secondaryschool English Learners in California are Long Term English Learners –struggling academically and stuck in progressing towards English proficiency despite six or more years in U.S. schools. Many secondary schools and districts, feeling the urgency of meeting the needs of these Long Term English Learners, are attempting to modify curriculumor create new courses that address the unique language and academic gaps ofthese students. Most are doing so without guidance, without a clear sense of how best to design these classes, and making do with whatever curricular resources they happen to have or hear about. Now, a new publication, “Secondary School Courses Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long Term English Learners”, culls thelessons learned from districts throughout the state and provides needed guidance for the field.
Secondary School Course Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long Term Englis
Californians Together Advances Biliteracy and Education Reform Policies for English Language Learners Earns National Award for Exceptional Immigrant Integration Initiatives
WASHINGTON– The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) on Thursday announced that Californians Together is one of four recipients of its 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizesfor exceptional immigrant integration initiatives. The national award honors Californians Together for its work promoting biliteracy and reforms that improve student language learning and address the needs of English language learners. (more)
New York State Seal of Biliteracy - Cuomo Signs Legislation
Albany, NY (July 31, 2012)
Governor Cuomo today signed into law a bill to recognize New York State high school graduates who demonstrate academic excellence in attaining proficiency in one or more languages other than English with a state seal of biliteracy. The seal will be attached to diplomas and transcripts of graduates who excel in listening, speaking, reading and writing in multiple languages.
"New York state should recognize the outstanding achievements of our students who have dedicated themselves to learning different languages," Governor Cuomo said. "Acknowledging those students who haves pushed themselves to do their very best and learn another language will provide them with an advantage when dealing with future employers and academic institutions."
Governor Cuomo Signs Seal of Biliteracy Legislation
New Policy Brief: Essential Elements of Effective Practices for English Learners
Just Released: New Policy Brief on Essential Elements of Effective Practices for English Learners, Drs. Magaly Lavadenz and Elvira Armas, Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) and Karen Cadiero Kaplan, Center for Equity and Biliteracy Education Research (CEBER) San Diego State University
In response to the negative impact on English Learners from over 10 years of "drill and kill", narrowly focused reading and math curricula and limited access to social science, science and the arts, Californians Together has issued a policy brief to delineate research-based teaching practices with policy recommendations for accelerating the language development and academic growth of English Learners.
NEW RESEARCH AND POLICY REPORT - LONG TERM ENGLISH LEARNERS
Systemic issues in California’s public education have created a majority of high school English Learners who despite many years in our schools are still not English proficient and have developed major academic deficits, according to a recent study authored by Californians Together and funded by the California Community Foundation.
The report, Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California’s Long Term English Learners, calls upon state policymakers and leaders to provide solutions and outlines basic principles and promising approaches for school districts to meet the needs of English Learners more effectively.