Press Releases
Study of New School Accountability Plans Shows Districts Not Focused on Needs of English Learners
Report on 1st Year of LCAP Calls for Stronger State Guidance,More Local Commitment to Research-based Approaches andStronger Engagement With EL Families & Communities 

A new report that reviewed the Local Control Accountability Plans of 29 key school districts throughout the state, and the impact those LCAPs are having on English Learner students, was released today by Californians Together.The report, titled “Falling Short on the Promise to English Learners, A New Report on Year One District Local Control Accountability Plans,” found that LCAPs tend to be characterized by woefully inadequate specificity and weak attention to how schools are meeting the various needs of English Learners. Read more...
LCAP Year One Report download

The California Campaign for Biliteracy is Launched and Two Disricts are Honored with a New Prestigious Award
In front of 3,500 teachers, administrators, parents and board members at the annual California Association for Bilingual Education Conference, Californians Together announced the beginning of the California Campaign for Biliteracy.  "It is time for a new Campaign across Californian to develop preschool through high school programs that will prepare students with proficiency in two or more languages so they may speak to, from and across multiple communities and nations. 

The California Campaign for Biliteracy seeks to engage educators, policy makers ,parents and students who share the vision for multilingualism, and all understand the enormous benefits to individuals, society and the economy 

Press Release download
Campaign Publication download
San Francisco Unified School District EL Programs download
Glendale Unified School District EL Programs download

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. 
Press Release download
HR 2549 Bill text download
Californians Together letter of support download

Commission Poised to Raise California Standards for Teacher Interns - English Learners to Benefit
Students who are currently learning English will soon have teachers-in-training with substantially improved preparation and parents will be better informed about teachers' level of training.  That's if the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) votes as expected on a series of reforms at its meeting this Thursday April 18.  English learner students comprise 1.4 million of the state's public school students, or approximately 1 in 4 students.
Teacher Interns and EL Students Press Release download

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

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 download

Torlakson Announces More Than 10,000 Students Earn New State Seal of Biliteracy
More than 10,000 graduating high school students across California have earned the first state recognition in the nation for achieving proficiency in multiple languages.  State Superintendent of Instruction, Tom Torlakson, issued a press release today, July 5, 2012, highlighting the accomplishments of the students and the importance of this recognition.  $0
Press Release from California Department of Education download

Thousands of Students Honored Across California for Their Biliteracy Skills
Graduation celebrations this year will be greatly enhanced in fifty-seven school districts in California where thousands of these high school graduates will don special medals that recognize them for achieving a high degree of literacy in English and one or more world languages. These California school districts, including some of the largest districts in the state, will award the Seal of Biliteracy, a statewide recognition that honors students who have attained proficiency in English and one or more world languages. 
Seal of Biliteracy Press Release download

Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson Appoints Callifornians Executive Direction to His Transition Team
Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Executive Director of Californians Together was appointed to serve on the Transition Team for Superintendent of Instruction, Tom Torlakson.  The Transition Advisory Team will provide strategic advice during his first few months in office as he identifies key issues impacting California students, schools, districts, and the California Department of Education and sets goals to address them. The press release can be found here.

Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Applauds Schools for Implementing Seal fo Biliteracy Progeram
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O'Connell, congratulated 34 school districts for implementing the Seal of Biliteracy, a Calfornians Together statewide program that honors students who have attained proficiency in English and one or more other languages by high school graduation. The school districts were recognized during the 11th annual Accountability and Leadership Institute for English Learners and Immigrant Students hosted by the California Department of Education. 
Calif. Department of Education Press Release download
Certificate of Recognition download

STAR 2010 Test Results and English Learners
The  STAR  test  results  once  again  indicate  that  not  all  students  are  going  to  have  the  education  needed  for  California  to  maintain  and  be  competitive  in  workplaces  that demand higher academic proficiency than is being achieved by our students.   
STAR 2009 EL Test Results Press Release download

Los Angeles Time Op-Ed - July 12, 2010
In the News!!!  Dr. Laurie Olsen, researcher and Californians Together Executive Board Member and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Californians Together Executive Director,  authored an Op Ed piece that was published in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, July 12, 2010.  Read and post it to you facebook or website. 

A Genuinely Bilingual Approach download

STAR 2009 Test Results and English Learners
SYSTEM  FAILURE! For the seventh straight year, the achievement gap between English Learners and English proficient children has widened. The State Board of Education and State Superintendent equally share the blame for what can only be described as a system failure. Children, parents, teachers and administrators deserve better.
STAR 2009 EL Test Results Press Release download

June 11, 2009: Concerned parents and community groups throughout California filed suit in San Francisco Superior Court today challenging State Superintendent Jack O’Connell’s decision to suspend monitoring of specialized education programs for Homeless, Neglected, Juvenile Justice, Migrant, English learners, and other disadvantaged youth for at least one year.  The money for these special programs comes primarily from federal funding under the No Child Left Behind Act, and must be spent to augment general education programs funded by the state. 

The lawsuit, Alejo, et al. v. O’Connell, et al, Case No. CPF 09-509568, alleges that the state must monitor and oversee the use of these funds by school districts to ensure that they are used to help academically “at risk” students overcome educational challenges.   The state retains a percentage of these federal funds  so that it can fulfill the promise it made to the U.S. Government to monitor and evaluate these programs.  The Petitioners allege that the state is unlawfully spending the money for other purposes and leaving school districts to do the same.

Alejo, et al. v. O'Connell Press Release download
Alejo, et al v. O'Connell Petition to State Superior Court download

2008 STAR Testing Results: Lack of Solutions to Help English Learners
State School Superintendent Jack O'Connell again fails to recognize the lack of academic progress for 25% of California's students. For the sixth consecutive year, he offers no solutions to address or improve student performance. School Districts across the state will continue to be deemed as failures because of the large number of "misassigned" teachers, ineffective resources and inappropriate programs for English Learners.
2008 STAR Testing Results Press Release download

California’s STAR Test Results - Growing English Learner Achievement Gap
California’s 2007 STAR test results again show no significant improvement. According to State Superintendent Jack O’Connell, for the past five consecutive years, the achievement gap for California’s majority minority students, Latinos and African Americans, has reached an alarming point of “social disparity”. Superintendent O’Connell’s announcement fails to mention the lack of progress made for one of California’s greatest challenge -- educating its 1.6 million English Learners.
California’s STAR 2007 Test Results – Achievement Gap download

State Demonstrates Flat, Lack Luster Test Results for English Learners, Superintendent O’Connell Continues to Excuse a Failing System for California’s 1.6 million English Learners
For the fifth consecutive year, the persistent achievement gap continues to hurt English learners and haunt the California Department of Education.
Persistent Achievement Gap Widens download

Plaintiffs Score Major Victory In No Child Left Behind English Learner Lawsuit Against The State Of California
On August 5, 2005 United States District Court Judge William Alsup granted plaintiffs' motion to remand the No Child Left Behind English Learner assessment litigation back to State Superior Court in San Francisco. Plaintiffs, including a broad coalition of school districts, Californians Together and other nonprofit organizations from throughout the State, filed their action in state
court on June 1, 2005. Below is the court order and the press release on this action.
Court Remand Order download
Court Remand Press Release download

Results Show State Fails English Learners
The release of the 2004-2005 Achievement Test scores reveals a widening gap between English learners and English-only students that has grown every year since the first administration of the exams.
California's STAR 2005 Test Results download

10 School Districts Sue State for Unfair Testing of English Learners
Joining Coachella Valley Unified School District, the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) and Californians Together jointly retained three major civil rights and education law firms to pursue a lawsuit against the State of California to enforce the provisions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act pertaining to the academic assessment of English Learners. 
Media Advisory for Press Conference download
Complaint filed in court 6/1/05 download
NCLB Assessment Lawsuit Press Release download

State Board Seeks to Limit Parents’ Rights
The State Board of Education (SBE) is poised to adopt sweeping changes to weaken regulations that protect the rights of parents, teachers and community members to pursue education-related complaints.  The pretext for the proposed changes to the Uniform Complaint Procedures is to comply with the Williams settlement.
State Board Seeks to Eliminate and Undermine Rights of Students, Parents and Teachers download

Department of Education 2004 Test Results Show Gap still Widening for California’s English Learners.
The Academic Performance of All Students Shows Little Growth with Scores of English Learners Declining in Most Grade Levels.
Widening Achievement Gap - August 16th, 2004 download
2003 - 2004 English Learner Gap Chart download

Bilingual Classrooms to Participate in Reading First
The signing of AB 1485 (Firebaugh) by Governor Davis on October 12, 2003 ensures that alternative bilingual programs receive full funding guaranteed by the federal government’s Reading First Program.
California’s New Law Reaffirms Parents’ Choice for Children’s Education download

California State Board of Education’s “Historic” Action Demeaning and Stereotypical to 1.2 million English Learners
The State Board of Education approved instructional materials containing erroneous and offensive cultural references.  The publisher, SRA/McGraw Hill apologizes, but errors result in 2-year delay in instruction tailored to English learners.
Demeaning and Stereotypical Materials Decried download

Parents Suing the California Department of Education over Reading First
Parents of English learners are suing the Californian Department of Education over restricting the eligibility of bilingual classrooms to participate in the federally funded Reading First Program.
California Department of Education Sued over Discriminatory Practices against English Learners download

Demand Letter Filed to Reverse Exclusion from Reading First
A demand letter was sent to the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Pubic Instruction to cease excluding bilingual classrooms from funding for the Reading First Program.
The State Leaves California’s English Language Learners Students Behind download

The 2002 California Stanford 9 Test Result Show Widening of the Achievement Gap
The newly released 2002 California Stanford 9 test scores show a widening gap in all subjects between English fluent and non English fluent students.
2002 Widening Achievement Gap download

State Board to Consider Regulations of Parents’ Rights
Parents demand the State Board of Education adopt regulations guaranteeing their rights to choose the best educational program for their children.
Immigrant Parents Demand Their Rights Under Proposition 227 download

Governor Urged to Direct State Board of Education to Support Parents’ Rights
The State Board of Education will vote on Proposition 227 Regulations that will effect parents’ rights to choose the program for their students and how to implement the Proposition.
Community Leaders and Parents Statewide Urge the Governor to Stop State Board of Education Actions download

Stanford 9 Scores Reveal Achievement Gap Continues to Widen, Despite the “Promise” of Prop. 227
Newly released Stanford 9 scores demonstrate the failure of Proposition 227, which mandated English immersion programs throughout the state and promised to rapidly propel English learners to the same levels as English proficient students.
California’s STAR Test Results 2001 download