I posted earlier this week about The New York Times series on immigration.
Today, they included:
An extensive article on educating newcomers titled Where Education and Assimilation Collide
A video of high school that has newcomers in separate classes
an interactive graphic of the entire United States that showed each county, its number of students, and the percentage of English Language Learners.
The pages also include resources I’ve written about in the past.
It’s unfortunate that the article focuses so much on a newcomer program that appears to concentrate on “teaching to the test” by concentrating on fact memorization and worksheets, and that it creates a false dichotomy that either ELL’s are taught separately or with mainstream students.
As readers of this blog know, our inner city school (with over half the student body being English Language Learners) has a culture of not teaching to the test, yet we are one of the few high schools in the country that has exited fourth year Program Improvement Status.
We have some separate classes for English Language Learners, and also integrate them with other mainstream students. In our separate classes, we create opportunities to connect with the rest of the student body, such as having sister classes.
I’m sure many other successful schools with ELL’s don’t teach to the test and don’t see teaching newcomers as an “either/or” situation.
Too bad The Times didn’t choose one or more of those schools to write about.
Readers might be interested in an article the principal of my school and I co-wrote titled The Positive Impact of English Language Learners At An Urban School.