Can the Common Core raise graduation rate for English learners? is an article today from The Hechinger Report. I’m not a fan of the headline — I think the obvious answer is “no.”
However, the article itself shared two resources that could be a treasure chest for teachers of English Language Learners trying to figure out how to apply the Common Core Standards to teaching English Language Learners — or not. I can’t say for sure yet because the two resources are quite extensive; I’ve only had a few minutes this morning to review them before I head off to school; and I’ve noticed a couple of issues that might or not be concerns.
New York State has created Scaffolding Instruction for English Language Learners: Resource Guides for English Language Arts and Mathematics and New York State Bilingual Common Core Initiative Progressions 2014-15.
This is how Angélica Infante-Green, New York State’s associate commissioner for bilingual education, describes the resources in the article:
we created a framework that said, these are the Common Core standards and this is how you work with those standards. They are called the Common Core Progressions … they show how you can work with English Language Learners whether they are a beginner or advanced, at whatever level they are with the Common Core. In addition, New York State created resource guides. We hired Dr. Diane August of the American Institutes for Research, who created a manual on how to “scaffold” or provide instructional support for English learners. It’s intended to help teachers prepare their lessons.
There may be some very useful ideas here. I especially like that many — though not all — of the “initiative progressions” include examples on how to provide them, though my concerns relate to the fact that, at least in a few I reviewed, there were buzzwords like using a “matrix” and a “graphic organizer” without sharing some specific examples of them.
I plan on taking some time to carefully review them and then post again about how helpful I think these resources might be to teachers. Are they “manna from heaven” to us ELL teachers; are they are bunch of recycled buzz words and lessons with little practical value; or are they somewhere in between?
If you’re familiar with them now, or take the time to review the resources over the next few days and weeks, I’d love to hear what you think….
I’m adding this post to The Best Resources For Learning About Common Core Standards & English Language Learners.