Together is a statewide coalition of parents, teachers,
education advocates and civil rights groups committed to securing
equal access to quality education for all children.
in 1998 after the passage of Proposition 227, Californians Together
joined with other organizations to foster full participation in
a democratic society through quality education for children and
parents from underserved communities.
Oppose Elimination of Spanish Language Arts Achievement Assessments
On Wednesday, May 1, 2013, AB 484 (Bonilla) will be heard and voted on in the Assembly Education Committee. This bill would reauthorize many state assessments while eliminating others by "suspending" these tests. A test to be eliminated by suspension includes the Standards Test in Spanish (STS) for next year. AB 484 calls for an extend process, if funding is available for this purpose, to decide whether it is needed or necessary to develop a new Spanish Academic Achievement test. The uncertainty of whether there will be a Spanish academic test and/or when it would be implemented is a major catastrophe for English Learners.
Californians Together has a position of "oppose unless amended" on AB 484 in order to address the two issues of primary language assessment for English learners. We need everyone to download the letter below and email a copy to Assembly Member Joan Buchanan, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee at Joan.Buchanan@asm.ca.gov.
Oppose Diminished Services and Programs for English Learners
The governor has proposed a new education funding formula for California schools called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). His intent is to equalize the funding across districts and give additional funds to support services for English learners, poor students and foster youth. This would repeal the Economic Impact Aid (EIA) and replace it with the LCFF. On first blush this makes sense. But there are significant problems with the formula and its impact on English learners. We need each of you to sign the letter attached below (you may personalize) and send it to Assembly Member Joan Buchanan, Chair of Assemble Education. The letter needs to arrive by Friday, May 3, 2013.
Letter to Assembly Member Buchanan on the LCFF
Commission Poised to Raise California Standards for Teacher Interns - English Learners to Benefit
Students who are currently learning English will soon have teachers-in-training with substantially improved preparation and parents will be better informed about teachers' level of training. That's if the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) votes as expected on a series of reforms at its meeting this Thursday April 18. English learner students comprise 1.4 million of the state's public school students, or approximately 1 in 4 students.
Teacher Interns and EL Students Press Release
COMMON CORE AND ENGLISH LEARNERS WORKSHOP
"Academic English for English Learners Through the
Listening and Speaking Common Core Standards"
Grades 4 -12
The Common Core Listening and Speaking Standards provide opportunities for active student engagement through oral language development. This session will present scaffolding strategies to provide English learners support and access to these standards. The session will focus on building academic language essential to the Common Core Standards. Through interactive participation, viewing and reflecting on video lessons, participants will leave with knowledge of the standards and instructional strategies unique to the language and academic needs of English learners.
Dr. Ivannia Soto Hinman
Author and Associate Professor Whittier College
Executive Director, Californians Together
May 14, 2013
Almansor Court Banquets and Restaurants
700 S. Almansor St., Alhambra, CA 91801
Register on line at http://tinyurl/May14thworkshop or download the registration brochure
NEW PUBLICATION "Raise Your Voice on Behalf of English Learners: The English Learners and Common Core Advocacy Toolkit
Californians Together views the advent of the Common Core Standards as an opportunity to strengthen the schooling of English Learners. We also recognize that any reform that increases rigor and does not address how English Learners will be supported to master that rigor can exacerbate the barriers and achievement gaps that have characterized the eduction of English Learners for too long.
To ensure that the Common Core Standards are implemented in a way that fully includes English Learners and that meets their unique language development and access needs, we have published "Raise Your Voices for English Learners: The English Learners and Common Core Advocacy Toolkit". This Advocacy Toolkit has prepared talking points for use by educators, policy makers, parents and community members in dialogues at the local, district and state levels - raising concerns, pushing for the supports needed to realize the Common Core for English learners, and advancing the vision of English Learner education that the Common Core can make possible.
The Toolkit includes:
- Background paper on the opportunities and challenges that the Common Core Standards present for curriculum, instruction and assessment of English Learners
- Talking points for policy makers, school site, district and count level educators to insert the needs of English Learners in Common Core Standards dialogues
- A palm card with key issues to be raised that can support the needs of ELs in any Common Core conversation
- Power point presentation to address the needs of English Learners which implementing the Common Core Standards
- A CD containing the PDFs of all the documents in the kit plus two resource articles
Californians Together Won the Migration Policy Institute 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prize - Awardees Discuss Immigrant Integration
The winners of the Migration Policy Institute's 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes,honoring exceptional immigrant integration work happening in the United States,discussed their initiatives during a plenary luncheon on September 24, 2012 atthe National Immigrant Integration Conference held in Baltimore, MD. During aQ&A with MPI Senior Vice President Michael Fix, leaders with ACCESS (theArab Community Center for Economic and Social Services), Building SkillsPartnership, Californians Together, and Citi Community Development discussedkey aspects of their work. At discussion's end, the winners received their EPluribus Unum Prizes from Brad Davidson, a trustee of the J.M. Kaplan Fund,which generously funds the prizes program.Click here for video
Two Important Californians Together Sponsored Bills Signed by the Governor
We are thrilled to announce that both of the Californians Together bills were signed by the Governor. We are now 4 for 4 in the last two legislative sessions. Our next step is to collaborate with the California Department of Education to implement these bills.
AB 2193 (Lara) - Long Term English Learners - Californians Together raised the profile of Long Term English Learners (LTELs) statewide and nationally through our research and policy document, Reparable Harm. This bill will create a statewide definition and reporting procedure for LTELs and students at-risk of becoming LTELs. California is the first state in the nation to have a consistent statewide definition to make these students visible and to catch students early along their educational journey.
AB 1719 (Fuentes) - Instructional Materials Aligned to New ELD Standards and the ELA Common Core - This bill builds upon our legislation from the last legislative session to revise, update and align ELD standards to the ELA Common Core. AB 1719 now requires the California Department of Education to create a list of supplemental materials aligned to the new ELD standards for purchase by schools and districts.
Read more about this two bills and other important English learner legislation signed by the Governor. For the full text on any of these bills go to www.leginfo.ca.gov. These bills became law in January 2013.
ANNOUNCEMENT of NEW CALIFORNIANS TOGETHER PUBLICATION
“Secondary School Courses Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long TermEnglish Learners”by Laurie Olsen, Ph.D.Well over half of the secondaryschool English Learners in California are Long Term English Learners –struggling academically and stuck in progressing towards English proficiency despite six or more years in U.S. schools. Many secondary schools and districts, feeling the urgency of meeting the needs of these Long Term English Learners, are attempting to modify curriculumor create new courses that address the unique language and academic gaps ofthese students. Most are doing so without guidance, without a clear sense of how best to design these classes, and making do with whatever curricular resources they happen to have or hear about. Now, a new publication, “Secondary School Courses Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long Term English Learners”, culls thelessons learned from districts throughout the state and provides needed guidance for the field.
Secondary School Course Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long Term Englis
Californians Together Advances Biliteracy and Education Reform Policies for English Language Learners Earns National Award for Exceptional Immigrant Integration Initiatives
WASHINGTON– The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) on Thursday announced that Californians Together is one of four recipients of its 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizesfor exceptional immigrant integration initiatives. The national award honors Californians Together for its work promoting biliteracy and reforms that improve student language learning and address the needs of English language learners. (more)
New York State Seal of Biliteracy - Cuomo Signs Legislation
Albany, NY (July 31, 2012)
Governor Cuomo today signed into law a bill to recognize New York State high school graduates who demonstrate academic excellence in attaining proficiency in one or more languages other than English with a state seal of biliteracy. The seal will be attached to diplomas and transcripts of graduates who excel in listening, speaking, reading and writing in multiple languages.
"New York state should recognize the outstanding achievements of our students who have dedicated themselves to learning different languages," Governor Cuomo said. "Acknowledging those students who haves pushed themselves to do their very best and learn another language will provide them with an advantage when dealing with future employers and academic institutions."
Governor Cuomo Signs Seal of Biliteracy Legislation
Torlakson Announces More Than 10,000 Students Earn New State Seal of Biliteracy
More than 10,000 graduating high school students across California have earned the first state recognition in the nation for achieving proficiency in multiple languages. State Superintendent of Instruction, Tom Torlakson, issued a press release today, July 5, 2012, highlighting the accomplishments of the students and the importance of this recognition. $0
Press Release from California Department of Education
New Policy Brief: Essential Elements of Effective Practices for English Learners
Just Released: New Policy Brief on Essential Elements of Effective Practices for English Learners, Drs. Magaly Lavadenz and Elvira Armas, Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) and Karen Cadiero Kaplan, Center for Equity and Biliteracy Education Research (CEBER) San Diego State University
In response to the negative impact on English Learners from over 10 years of "drill and kill", narrowly focused reading and math curricula and limited access to social science, science and the arts, Californians Together has issued a policy brief to delineate research-based teaching practices with policy recommendations for accelerating the language development and academic growth of English Learners.
State Seal of Biliteracy Website LIVE!!!
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, sent a letter to all superintendents in the state of California outlining the process for applying for the State Seal of Biliteracy for this June's graduates. The link to the website is http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/sealofbiliteracy.asp. Allow 3-6 weeks after the date the California Department of Education receives your Insignia Request Form to receive the State Seals for placement on the diplomas and transcripts of your seniors. Thousands of student will be recognized this year for their multilingual talents.
NEW RESEARCH AND POLICY REPORT - LONG TERM ENGLISH LEARNERS
Systemic issues in California’s public education have created a majority of high school English Learners who despite many years in our schools are still not English proficient and have developed major academic deficits, according to a recent study authored by Californians Together and funded by the California Community Foundation.
The report, Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California’s Long Term English Learners, calls upon state policymakers and leaders to provide solutions and outlines basic principles and promising approaches for school districts to meet the needs of English Learners more effectively.
Watch "Immersion Film" Directed By Richard Levien,
Produced By Richard Levien
Moises, a ten-year-old student, struggles to communicate in his new school with limited access to his native language. He has just immigrated to California from Mexico. He doesn't speak English, but he's good at math, so he hopes to do well on his first math test in the USA.
Using untrained child actors from public schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, “Immersion” plunges its audience into the visceral experience of a child who cannot understand his teacher. The film puts a human face on the education of English Language Learners and the punitive state testing system.