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English Learners

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2011 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
In a Glendale public school classroom, the immigrant's daughter uses no English as she conjugates verbs and writes sentences about cats. More than a decade after California voters eliminated most bilingual programs, first-grader Sofia Checchi is taught in Italian nearly all day — as she and her 20 classmates at Franklin Elementary School have been since kindergarten. Yet in just a year, Sofia has jumped a grade level in reading English. In the view of her mother — an Italian immigrant — Sofia's achievement validates a growing body of research indicating that learning to read in students' primary languages helps them become more fluent in English.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2006 | Carla Rivera, Times Staff Writer
A divided state Board of Education on Monday adopted far-reaching new guidelines for reading and English language arts textbooks aimed at California's elementary and middle school students, despite objections that the materials do not do enough to help students struggling to learn English.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2009 | Anna Gorman
Nearly 30% of Los Angeles Unified School District students placed in English language learning classes in early primary grades were still in the program when they started high school, increasing their chances of dropping out, according to a new study released Wednesday. More than half of those students were born in the United States and three-quarters had been in the school district since first grade, according to the report by the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute at USC. The findings raise questions about the teaching in the district's English language classes, whether students are staying in the program too long and what more educators should do for students who start school unable to speak English fluently.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2008 | Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
One-third of California's 1.4 million nonnative students demonstrated enough English fluency this year to gain access to higher-level and college-prep course work, a modest improvement over last year, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. Increasing limited-English-speaking students' access to more rigorous classes and decreasing the achievement gap between these students and their native classmates are "moral" and "economic" imperatives, said Supt.
NEWS
July 23, 1999 | LOUIS SAHAGUN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A year after voters approved the anti-bilingual education law Proposition 227, tens of thousands of California schoolchildren with limited English skills showed only modest gains in Stanford 9 test scores released Thursday. Statewide, third-grade reading scores for English learners, who make up 21% of the test takers in California, rose only 4 percentile points.
OPINION
July 11, 2010 | By Bruce Fuller
Should teachers immerse California's rainbow of students in English to close achievement gaps — a linguistic cold shower of sorts — or lift literacy by scaffolding up from their home languages? It's a false dichotomy, says Ashley Aguilar, a savvy junior at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. She must ace several English tests to enter UC Santa Barbara, her dream college. But she holds her native Spanish dear as well. "It will be better that I am bilingual," Aguilar said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2012 | By Teresa Watanabe and Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times
Until the photos surfaced, it didn't appear that anything was seriously amiss at Miramonte Elementary School. The school was on the upswing. Test scores were rising. The campus south of downtown Los Angeles was bright with new paint, murals and $6 million in other improvements. A new principal brought in parent education workshops, student leadership programs and other activities. Even the neighborhood, notorious for gang violence and drugs, had calmed down. Then came the bombshell: photos showing Miramonte schoolchildren blindfolded and gagged, pictured with spoons containing a milky substance that authorities allege was the semen of Mark Berndt, 61, a third-grade teacher who has been charged with 23 counts of lewd conduct with children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 1998 | JOHN ESPINOZA, John Espinoza teaches at Malabar Elementary School
I am one of 5,500 bilingual teachers who work for the Los Angeles Unified School District. For the past 19 years, I have taught students whose first language is not English. Almost 100% of these students are, by my standards, poor. I've taught kindergarten through fifth grade, gifted and remedial students. While I know that many of our immigrant students in LAUSD are successfully progressing through the system, I also know that some of them are not.
OPINION
May 2, 2013
Re "Gov. Brown as Robin Hood," Column, April 29 In his column casting doubt on Gov. Jerry Brown's demand that money be shifted from better-off school districts to ones that have a higher share of disadvantaged students and English learners, George Skelton's poison pen writes - with no attribution other than "some" in Sacramento - that Brown was "cranky" after returning from his trip to China because of jet lag. Skelton notes speculation that...
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