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English Learners

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.
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OPINION
April 24, 2011 | By Rubén Martinez
When I first held my daughter Ruby in my arms, I whispered to her, " Soy tu papá ," and a few minutes later when I held her twin sister, Lucía, I said the same thing. Then I melted into tears of joy, of course. Before the twins were born, my wife, Angela, and I had decided we would do what we could to help them grow up bilingual. Acting on the instructions of my colleague Rebeca Acevedo, a linguist and professor of Spanish at Loyola Marymount University, I was to speak to them 100% of the time in Spanish, my first language, and Angela in English.
OPINION
April 30, 2013
Re "Lawsuit: State fails some English learners," April 25 The article does not mention two approaches to help those acquiring English, both with substantial research support. One is bilingual education, dismantled by Proposition 227 more than a decade ago. Research has shown that students in bilingual programs outperform students in all-English programs on tests of English reading. Also, studies show that Proposition 227 did not result in improved English proficiency. Second, there is strong evidence that those who do more pleasure reading in English do better on English-language tests, and case histories reveal that those who succeeded in acquiring the English needed for school were dedicated readers.
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.
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...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2010 | By Howard blume
The federal government has singled out the Los Angeles Unified School District for its first major investigation under a reinvigorated Office for Civil Rights, officials said Tuesday. The focus of the probe, by an arm of the U.S. Department of Education, will be whether the nation's second-largest district provides adequate services to students learning English. Officials turned their attention to L.A. Unified because so many English learners fare poorly and because they make up about a third of district enrollment, more than 220,000 students.
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.
OPINION
July 17, 2010
Editor's note: This edition of Blowback offers four responses to the package of three Op-Eds about bilingual education that The Times ran on July 11. The opinion pieces — "The Spanish road to English" by Bruce Fuller, "A skill, not a weakness" by Laurie Olsen and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, and "Quality Counts" by Alice Callaghan — generated a lot of feedback from readers, and much of the "Letters to the editor" section on...
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