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 eduction 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
California State Board of Education Unanimously Adopts New ELD Standards
On November 7, 2012 the California State Board of Education unanimously adopted the newly revised, updated and aligned English Language Development (ELD) Standards. The new ELD Standards are aligned to the English Language Arts Common Standards. They will serve multiple purposed: to inform instruction for English language development, to help scaffold content instruction, to support the development of the new English Language Arts/English Language Development Curriculum Framework and to inform the development of a new English language proficiency exam. Here is the link to the new ELD Standards:
This effort was led by the tremendous leadership of Dr. Karen Cadiero Kaplan, Director of the Division of English Learner Services and closely partnered with West Ed under the leadership of Dr. Robert Linquanti. The work was informed by an incredible group of English Learner researchers and practitioners who constituted the ELD Expert Panil that worked for over six months wit the Department. Representing Californians Togethere on the panel were Dr. Magaly Lavadenz, Director of the Center for Equity and English Learners, Loyola Marymount University, Dr. Norm Gold, CEO of Norm Gold and Associates and Former CDE Manager, and Martha Hernandez from the Ventura County Office of Education.
At the State Board of Education hearing on Nov. 7, 2012, many people testified in support of the adoption fo the standards. The Board heard from Superintendents Linda Kaminsky, Azusa Unfied School Districts and Jan Perry, Luther Burbank Unified School District. Representatives from our member and ally organizations who testified in support were CABE, MALDEF, Public Advocates, ACSA, CSBA, Caludia Lockwood, retired educator from a County Office of Education and Martha Zaragoza Diaz representing CABE and Californians Together.
Our future work is to make sure that these new ELD Standards are incorporated into any professional development and implementation plans for the Common Core Standards to help define access for English learners to the new standards.
Two Important Californians Together Sponsored Bills Signed by the Governor
We are thrilled to announce that both of the Californians Together bills were signed by the Governor. We are now 4 for 4 in the last two legislative sessions. Our next step is to collaborate with the California Department of Education to implement these bills.
AB 2193 (Lara) - Long Term English Learners - Californians Together raised the profile of Long Term English Learners (LTELs) statewide and nationally through our research and policy document, Reparable Harm. This bill will create a statewide definition and reporting procedure for LTELs and students at-risk of becoming LTELs. California is the first state in the nation to have a consistent statewide definition to make these students visible and to catch students early along their educational journey.
AB 1719 (Fuentes) - Instructional Materials Aligned to New ELD Standards and the ELA Common Core - This bill builds upon our legislation from the last legislative session to revise, update and align ELD standards to the ELA Common Core. AB 1719 now requires the California Department of Education to create a list of supplemental materials aligned to the new ELD standards for purchase by schools and districts.
Read more about this two bills and other important English learner legislation signed by the Governor. For the full text on any of these bills go to www.leginfo.ca.gov. These bills became law in January 2013.
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
California Poised to Spotlight ELLs Stalled in Schools Article from Education Week, September 19, 2012
By LesliA. Maxwell
California is poised to become the first state to unmask the extent to which English-language learners languish in public schools for years without ever reaching fluency.
Under a measure that received broad, bipartisan support from the legislature, the state education department would be required to break out and report data annually on long-term English-learners—tens of thousands statewide—for every school and district. The measure would also create a common, statewide definition for long-term ELL students. Students at risk of becoming long-term ELLs would also be flagged.
The legislation is awaiting action from Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, who has untilSept. 28 to decide whether to sign the bill (more)
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.
NABE Ensdorses The State Seal of Biliteracy
The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) passed a formal resolution supporting and endorsing the State Seal of Biliteracy. At the February NABE Conference in Dallas, Californians Together was recognized for the development of the State Seal of Biliteracy. Several other states are beginning to discuss the possibility of implementing a state seal.
State Seal of Biliteracy Website LIVE!!!
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, sent a letter to all superintendents in the state of California outlining the process for applying for the State Seal of Biliteracy for this June's graduates. The link to the website is http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/sealofbiliteracy.asp. Allow 3-6 weeks after the date the California Department of Education receives your Insignia Request Form to receive the State Seals for placement on the diplomas and transcripts of your seniors. Thousands of student will be recognized this year for their multilingual talents.
Emergence of Long Term English Learners in the Elementary School Years - Data Request
In the recent research publication, Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Upkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California's Long Term English Learners, we shared data from 40 school districts on the Long Term English Learner population in secondary schools. As a follow-up, we are seeking data on the emergence of Long Term English Learners in the elementary school years. If you are interested and able to participate in this effort, please fill out the form (below) by February 14, 2012 and email or fax back to:
All data will be aggregated and the names of the districts providing the data will be kept confidential.
Governor Signs Two Sponsored Bills: AB 815 (Brownley) State Seal of Biliteracy and AB 124 (Fuentes) ELD
California Seal of Biliteracy - The First in the Nation
OnOctober 8, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 815 (Brownley) creating theState Seal of Biliteracy making California the first state in the nation tohonor high school seniors who are proficient in English and one or more languages. Californians Together hasworked for two years with schools districts across the state to develop localSeal of Biliteracy programs. To date 64schools, districts and county offices of education have formally adopted a Sealof Biliteracy program. Last June over6,000 students were awarded the Seal and marched at graduation with amedallion, stole or cord indicating their achievement in multiple languages.
TheCalifornia Department of Education (CDE) is in the process of implementing AB 815, the State Seal of Biliteracy.It will be available for this June’s graduates. With the support of Superintendent of PublicInstruction, Tom Torklakson, a special design for the State Seal has beencommissioned. It will be aself-adhesive seal that can be affixed to a student’s diploma ortranscript.
Information on how to request the newly designed seal for 2012 willbe forthcoming in a letter to the field and a new CDE Web page to be postedsoon at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/sealofbiliteracy.asp
Please read the text of thelegislation (attachment below), which contains all of the criteria for eligibility by clicking here.
You may contact the CDE by email at: SEAL@cde.ca.gov
regarding this program.
Revising, Updating and Aligning the English Language Development Standards (ELD) to California's English Language Arts (ELA) Standards
AB 124 (Fuentes) became law this month. The California Department of Education has the responsibility for revising, updating and aligning the current ELD Standards to the ELA Common Core Standards by grade level. Two steps have begun that will involve the field in this important work. The Department will conduct four focus groups in different areas of the state to receive input from the field as to what would be most helpful for students and teachers in these new standards. They have released an application for interested educators to complete in order to participate in the focus groups. This information is contained on this website. http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/index.asp. The law requires that the Department appoint an Expert Panel to consult on the development of the new standards. An additional application will be made available for appointment to this panel. Consult the website for updates on this critical work.
Californians Together Announces the Release of a New Film“The Seal of Biliteracy – Celebrating Students of the 21st Century”
What does it mean to be a student of the 21st century? High school seniors graduating in this global era need to have skills to be able to communicate across national borders and languages. They need to be prepared to enter into the global world that they will inherit upon graduation. Being proficient in English and one or more other world languages is a strong indicator that they are not only college and career ready but prepared to contribute to the prosperity of their local community, and our diverse state and nation as bilingual professionals, social service providers, and international diplomats.
The film, The Seal of Biliteracy – Celebrating Students of the 21st Century
, presents the journey and voices of three students:Richard Robles, Sierra Vista High School graduate from Baldwin Park Unified School District, You Li and Elizabeth Paiva, graduates from Modesto City Schools who have all earned the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is a seal affixed to the transcript or diploma of a graduating senior who has meet internationally benchmarked criteria to demonstrate proficiency in English and one or more world languages. The goal is biliteracy at a high level for graduating high schools seniors.
For further information about implementing the Seal of Biliteracy, purchasing the DVD or viewing it on Facebook, YouTube
or our website, www.californianstogether.org, contact:
525 E. 7th St.
Long Beach, CA 90803
Seal of Biiteracy Medallions and Seals Available
Seal of Bliteracy Medallions are available to be awarded for graduating high school seniors meeting the district criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy. In addition, the self-adhesive seals that can be affixed to diplomas, certificates and/or transcripts are also available. Feel free to download the order forms for one or both of these items and place your orders.
Seal of Biliteracy Stickers Order Form
Seal of Biliteracy Medallions Order Form
Announcing New Publications
Californians Together is pleased to announce the availability of exciting research-based publications and tools to help develop and improve policy and practice for school and district reform targeting English learners. We are grateful to the staff and talent from California Tomorrow that has trusted us to distribute their materials to keep their visions for equity in our schools alive.
Californians Together Publications
Speaking in Tongues
At a time when 31 states have passed “English Only” laws, four pioneering families put their children in public schools where, from the first day of kindergarten, their teachers speak mostly Chinese or Spanish. "Speaking in Tongues" follows four diverse kids on a journey to become bilingual. This charming story in an informative and moving video will challenge you to rethink the skills that Americans need in the 21st century. This is a must resource for schools wishing to begin and support current Dual Immersion Programs.
Speaking in Tongues Trailer
Educator's Study Guide
Long Term English Learner Articles in ACSA Leadership Magazine
The November/December 2010 edition of Leadership published by the Association of California School Administrators contains two wonderful article about the reseach and district efforts to address the language and academic needs specific to long term English learners. The research article is written by Dr. Laurie Olsen, author of Reparable Harm, and the district perspective is written by Jennifer Robles, director of Bilingual Education Programs, Ventura Unified School District. These two articles are posted with permission of Leadership magazine, published by the Association of California School Administrators.
Changing Course for Long Term English Learners
Participatory Leadership for English Learner Success
New Seal of Biliteracy Information Booklet
This the second edition of our Seal of Biliteracy Information and Implementation Booklet. We hope you find this updated booklet helpful when planning to adopt and implement the Seal of Biliteracy and pathway awards.
Sea of Biliteracy Implementation and Informationn Booklet
English Learners and the Common Core Standards
In California we need to align our current English Language Develop standards to the approved Common Core Standards if we are to give our teachers and districts the additional support to build the staircase for English learners to the grade level Common Core Standards.
Seal of Biliteracy Resouces for Implementation
The resources listed below are available for anyone working on establishing a Seal of Biliteracy recognition program for their school district or school. Feel free to use any of the samples as a resource for your work. You can order your Seal of Biliteracy Medallions or Self Adhesive Seals for the diplomas or transcripts by downloading the order forms. In addition, please submit any materials that are developed in your district to Shelly@californianstogether.org
Seal of Biliteracy Stickers Order Form
Seal of Biliteracy Medallions Order Form
List of Seal of Biilteracy Districts/Schools/County Offices
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.
ESEA Reauthorization Recommendations
Californians Together submitted the attached recommendations for the reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act to both the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. These recommendations focus on what the reauthorization should address for improving schools for English learners. $0
ESEA Reauthorization Recommendations
Californians Together Announces the Seal of Bilitereacy
The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, school district or county office of education in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. Appearing on the transcript of the graduating senior, the Seal of Biliteracy is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions.
We are looking for school districts and schools that want to implement the Seal of Biliteracy Program. The attached brochure gives direction and support for establishing this program. Contact our office for more information 562-983-1333.
2008 Reading/Language Arts Adoption Recommendations
During the spring and summer of 2008 representatives of the
Californians Together attended two California Department of Education
trainings for the Instructional Materials Advisory Panel members and
had over seventeen experts observe the textbook deliberations. Each of
the observers learned much about the process and the materials and was
impressed with the commitment of the panel members, the commissioners
and staff. More importantly, the observers walked away with a better
understanding of the adoption process, and the challenge of selecting
instructional materials that best serve the instructional needs of all
students, including English learners.
Based upon our
observations of the work of the advisory panels, Californians Together
offers the attached findings on the process, criteria and content of
the materials with recommendations.
Supplanting versus Supplementing - Categorical Program Integrity
Twelve organizations are urging the State Superintendent of Instruction and the President of the State Board of Education to clarify the intent of categorical funds. State law and court cases lay the legal foundation for guaranteeing that categorical funds are to supplement the base program and not supplant the services guaranteed to English learners. The following letter should be shared with all stakeholders.
California English Learners State and Federal Accountability Systems Survey
We are interested in knowing how the implementation of No Child Left Behind and state
accountability measures for schools that are identified as
low-achieving, are placed in Program Improvement Status, or in a High
Priority Schools Grant Program may be impacting English Learners and
English Learner programs. Please take a moment to complete one of our
on-line surveys listed below. Please share this with colleagues who
could help provide us with this information. Thank you for your
DISTRICT LEVEL SURVEY
SCHOOL LEVEL SURVEY
New Report: Successful Bilingual Schools: Six Effective Programs in California
Norm Gold Associates and the San Diego County Office of Education
This report profiles successful bilingual education programs at six schools in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Ventura, California. It was designed to show that bilingual schools are capable of providing opportunities for students to achieve and sustain high levels of academic excellence even when faced with challenges such as poverty and a lack of students' English proficiency upon entering school.
Policy Statement for Reclassification of English Language Learners
This document provides rationale, a position and criteria for guidelines for state reclassification criteria.
Californians Together Reclassification Policy Paper
Reclassification of English Learners, Dr. Jim Grissom, College of Education, Arizona State University, Education Policy Analysis Archives
A report published by the Education Policy Analysis Archives and authored by James Grissom of the California Department of Education challenges the assumption that improvements in the reclassfication rate and academic achievement of English learners has taken place since the passage of Prop. 227. The report is based on statewide data from three different cohorts tracked across four years. Based on the data, Grissom concludes that Prop. 227 has had no effect on reclassfication rates or test scores. To read the full report, visit
Premature Identification of IFEPs
Not until significant numbers of CELDT tests were administered to new students for initial assessment did the problem of prematurely identifying IFEPs materialize. This document makes recommendations for modifying aspects of the CELDT to produce accurate language proficiency designation.
Policy Paper to Improve CELDT Language Proficiency Designation
English Learners in California Schools: Unequal Resources, Unequal Outcomes
This article reviews the conditions of schools for California’s English learners and argues that there are seven aspects of schooling of ELs where students receive an education that is demonstrably inferior to that of English speakers.
Inferior Resources for Educating English Learners
National and State Issues Effecting the Education of English Learners. Over 151,000 English Learners Foreclosed From State and Federal Programs and Resources
These two reports document policies promulgated by the California State Board of Education and legislature that were hostile to the continuation and support of bilingual programs and appropriate resources for all services to English learners.
EL National and State Issues
ELs Foreclosed from State and Federal Services
Equity, Achievement and Diversity - Powerpoint Presentation for Latino Legislative Caucus Retreat
Dr. Maria Quezada, CABE
This presentation calls for bold new leadership in leadership and resources for programs for English learners.
Presentation to Latino Legislative Caucus
Position Paper on California English Language Development Test (CELDT) – The Need for and Value of CELDT
This document underscores the need for a statewide English Language Proficiency test and makes recommendation to improve content and administration of the CELDT.
Californians Together CELDT position paper
Three Years of Policy Erosion for English Learners 1998-2001
Since the passage of Proposition 227 new education policy has affected every aspect of schooling for English learners. This is a brief chronology, by category, of the challenges and barriers to implementing an equitable and accessible education for English learners.
Chronology of Challenges and Barriers to Education for ELs
The Redesignation Dilemma: Challenges and Choices in Fostering Meaningful Accountability for English Learners
Dr. Robert Linquanti, Policy Report, UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute, Volume 10, Number 4, Summer 2001.
This report documents the important role of the reclassification criteria as a monitoring tool for services to English learners.
Reclassification and Monitoring EL Programs
Bilingual Schools Make Exceptional Gains on the State's Academic Performance Index (API)
Dr. Norm Gold, Californians Together
This document reports that 63 schools with bilingual education programs did better on tests of academic achievement in English than over 1,000 similar schools that provided instruction to most of their students only in English.
Schools with Large Enrollments of English Learners and Substantial Bilingual Instruction are Effective in Teaching English
Dr. Norm Gold, Californians Together
A review of Spring 2000 Math and Reading SA -9 data from ten elementary schools with large enrollments of English learners (ELs)
Bilingual Instruction Effective in Teaching English