California State Board of Education Adopts An English Learner Roadmap – Historical Day:  From English Only to Bilingualism and Biliteracy

Jul | 2017

July 13, 2017, LONG BEACH:  On July 12, 2017 the California State Board of Education unanimously adopted new policy for educating California’s 1.3 million English Learners (ELs) by approving an English Learner Roadmap.  As stated in the approved Board Item,

“This policy is intended to assist the California Department of Education in providing guidance to local educational agencies (LEAs) in welcoming, understanding, and educating the diverse population of students who are English learners attending California public schools. Many English learners represent the newest members of our society (including recently arrived immigrants and children of immigrants) who bring a rich diversity of cultural backgrounds and come from families with rich social and linguistic experiences. They also bring skills in their primary languages that contribute enormously to the state’s economic and social strengths as a talented multilingual and multicultural population.”

The next step for the state is to develop guidance materials and resources for implementation of the policy that will be web-based and include successful practices that district will contribute and be able share statewide.

Laurie Olsen, Co-Chair of the work group that developed the EL Roadmap, researcher and EL expert, concluded her remarks to the State Board of Education members saying,

“I want to take a moment to mark what I believe is a historic moment.  It is a turning away from what has been an English-Only and deficit oriented approach to educating English Learners, a turn away from watered down and narrowed curriculum and from marginalizing English Learners.  But the Roadmap is not just about ending an era.  It is also about breaking new ground and setting us on the road towards asset-based schooling that embraces the language and cultures of our students and towards providing solidly research-based, coherent and comprehensive programs for the 1.3 million English Learners in our schools.   And in so doing, our California roadmap will also offer a vision, a beacon and an example to the rest of the nation about what it means to honor equity, ensure meaningful access and embrace our wonderfully diverse population.”

For information on the English Learner Road Map and updates on resources and guidance documents as they are developed go to:  http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/rm/

Californians Together is a statewide coalition of 23 parents, teachers, education advocates and civil rights groups committed to improving policy and practice for educating English Learners.  It is a non-profit organizations that mobilizes communities to protect and promote the rights of 1.3 million English Learners (23% of California students K-12).  Californians Together has served for 19 years as a statewide voice on behalf of language minority students in California public schools.

 

 

Bilingual Teacher Shortage Requires Immediate Action: Study Shows That Bilingual Teachers Exist, But They Require Professional Development

Jul | 2017

LONG BEACH, Ca — July 11, 2017 –   A new report released by Californians Together shows that many school districts across the state are currently facing a growing bilingual teacher shortage, and that in the near term, there is a pool of at least 7,000 bilingual teachers who are well positioned to begin to address this shortage, and need to be supported with professional development. …Read More.

Santa Clara County Office of Education Honored with the Prestigious Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy Award

Mar | 2017

Anaheim – The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) has been selected as the first county office of education to receive the Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy Recognition Award.  The Californians Together award celebrates the SCCOE for leading the way to world-class language education in preschool through 12th grade. The county team led by Superintendent Jon R. Gundry will receive this award at the 42nd annual conference of the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) on March 31 in Anaheim.  
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Californians Together and 120 Organizations Promise to Fight for Safe and Secure Schools

Nov | 2016

OVER 120 ORGANIZATIONS URGE ALL CALIFORNIA K-12 SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES TO BE DESIGNATED AS SANCTUARY SCHOOLS AND CAMPUSES

Californians Together Calls for Safe, Inclusive, and Equitable Learning Environments for All Students In Response to Fears of Deportation and Hate Attacks Since the Election

LOS ANGELES – Californians Together with more than 120 community, education, health, faith, labor, student, and parent organizations in California, has released an open letter (click on link below) calling on California’s educational leaders to address the growing fear around deportation and the troubling spike in hate crimes, incidents, and bullying in K-12 schools and on college campuses since the election of Donald Trump. Coordinated by the College for All Coalition, the open letter calls for safe, inclusive, and equitable learning environments for California students, especially those who are most vulnerable. …Read More.

Victory for Proposition 58 Guarantees that Parents and Educators Can Choose the Best Language Education Program for Students in California

Nov | 2016

Overwhelming majority of California voters said Yes to opening the doors and providing more opportunities for Multilingual Education in California Schools

Los Angeles, CA (November 9. 2016) Once more California will lead the nation in recognizing the value and importance of students graduating from our schools proficient in English and one or more other languages. California students, parents and teachers can now freely decide the best possible language program for their children. With the passage of Proposition 58, California is embracing its diversity, giving the hands-on decision of the best language education programs back to those closest to the students. …Read More.

Two California School Districts are Honored with the Prestigious Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy Award

Jul | 2016

Baldwin Park Unified School District and Redwood City School District have been selected as recipients of the 2016 Multiple Pathways to Biliteracy District Recognition Award.  The Californians Together award celebrates districts that are leading the way to world-class language education in preschool through 12th grade.  District teams will receive these awards at the 41st annual conference of the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) on March 25, 2016 in San Francisco.

“Together we hope to inspire the development of strong dual language programs, multiple opportunities and comprehensive pathways enabling all students to reach the goal of high levels of proficiency in two or more languages,” explained Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, President of Californians Together.

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Study of Year 2 Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) Reveals a Weak Response to the Needs of English Learners

Apr | 2016

Report on 2nd Year of LCAPs Calls for the State, Districts and County Offices of Education to Make the Remaining Years of LCFF about Closing Gaps and Raising Levels of Language and Academic Growth

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 5, 2016) – A second report that reviewed the Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) 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.  This report is a follow-up to the year 1 report released in May 2015 and serves to document the key differences between first and second-year LCAPs in demonstrating increased or improved services to English Learners.  

English Learner Leadership & Legacy Initiative

Aug | 2015

Californians Together, in collaboration with the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), has developed the EL Leadership & Legacy Initiative (ELLLI) as a three year effort that will initially result in a group of nineteen new English Learner (EL) education advocates/leaders. These EL fellows will be equipped to advance proactive projects (such as the current biliteracy campaign), as well as to respond effectively to anticipated political challenges at state and local levels. In addition to the preparation of selected cohorts of new EL leaders, the project aims to make more widely available an EL leadership and legacy curriculum that can empower many other leaders at the local, regional and state levels. The project will draw on the perspectives of many senior EL leaders, and current advocates for ELs and will use a blend of whole group training insinuates, one-on-one coaching and mentoring and project based experiences. …Read More.

Study of New School Accountability Plans Shows Districts Not Focused on Needs of English Learners

May | 2015

Report on 1st Year of LCAP Calls for Stronger State Guidance, More Local Commitment to Research-based Approaches and Stronger 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.