Welcome

Californians 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.

Founded 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.

What's New

Embargoed until December 17, 2014

 

California is theFirst State in the Nation to Define and Identify English Learners who AfterMany Years are Struggling to Succeed

Sacramento:  Three out of four (74%) English Learner students in grades 6 -12 have been in California schools for 7 years or more and are still without the English skills they need to succeed academically.  Because this is longer than it should take to attain English proficiency, they are called "Long Term English Learners" (LTELs).  The numbers compiled by the California Department of Education for the first time by any state in the nation, is part of an effort to ensure these students get the educational support they need.   This is the first of what will be annual releases of school level and district level data on LTELs being reported as a result of legislation passed in 2012, (AB 2193, Lara) that defined who a Long Term English Learner (LTEL) is and also set criteria for identifying Students at Risk of Becoming a Long Term English Learner.  No other state in the union has shone such a clear light on this issue. Read More...

Sobrato Press download
CEEL Press download
LAUSD download

ANNOUNCEMENT of NEW PUBLICATION

The California Campaign for Biliteracy”

by Laurie Olsen,Ph.D.

A CaliforniansTogether Publication

 

Building upon the momentum and statewide engagement in the State Seal of Biliteracy, Californians Together is announcing “The California Campaign for Biliteracy”.   Parents, students and districts are asking about tools to help development multiple pathways to biliteracy prek-12th grade leading to all students being eligible for the State Seal of Biliteracy.  This campaign describes and supports the development of strong, articulated, equitably accessible preschool through high school programs and learning opportunities that will prepare students with high level proficiency in two or more languages. 

Thispublication is a tool to help schools and districts build multiple pathways tobiliteracy.  Included in the publicationis information about the benefits and background on biliteracy,  language learning opportunities, awardcriteria, and guidance to begin a district effort to implement multiplepathways to biliteracy.

Completethe order form with this announcement, and fax, email or mail with payment bycheck, p.o. or credit card to:

CaliforniansTogether

525 East Seventh Street, #207
Long Beach,California, CA 90813
562-436-1822 (fax)

shelly@californianstogether.org

Questions:  call 562-983-1333

Order form download

WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT

*WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT*


 

 

Presented by
Laurie Olsen, Ph.D, Kelly King, Ed.D, Christina Mei-Yue Wong , Shelly Spiegel-Coleman

When: Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 2:00PM - 3:00PM MDT (4:00PM - 5:00PM EDT / 1:00PM - 2:00PM PDT) 

 

The 21st Centuryskill of proficiency in English and one or more other languages is a goal thenation should adopt for all students.  During this presentation, Dr.Laurie Olsen and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman from Californians Together will presentCalifornia's Campaign for Biliteracy as an example of what other states andlocal districts can do to value and implement multiple pathways tobiliteracy.  The session will describe why there is a need for thecampaign, how it works and builds upon the development of State Seals ofBlliteracy.  Representatives from two districts, San Francisco andGlendale Unified School Districts will present their district-wideimplementation of multiple pathways to bililteracy incorporating many diverselanguages.  Lastly, we will look to the future and how to encourage othersto begin the journey of developing initial pathways as a step building strong,articulated, equitably accessible preschool through high school programs andlearning opportunities that will prepare students with high level proficiencyin two or more languages. 

 

 


Moving from Spoken to Written Language with English Learners and the Common Core and ELD Standards

November 13, 2014 Workshop

 "Moving from Spoken to Written Language with English Learners and the Common Core and ELD Standards"

  Presented by Dr. Ivannia Soto Hinman
Author and Associate Professor of Education, Whittier College

Targeted for: State, County, School and District Teams
Grade 4-12

Almansor Court Banquets and Restaurants
700 S. Almansor St.
Alhambra, CA 91801
626-570-4600

 

November 13, 2014
8:00 a.m. - Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 a.m - 3:00 p.m. Workshop 

Early registration deadline: October 31, 2014
Cost:  $185.00 (includes continental breakfast, lunch, publication and conference materials)

Late registration: November 1 - 13, 2014
Costs:  $200.00

 

*Cancellation only by November 1, 2013 with a 20% processing fee. 
Non-refundable registration fee after November 1, 2013*

 

 

For question or additional information call (562)983-1333 or email van@californianstogether.org.


The California Campaign for Biliteracy is Launched and Two Disricts are Honored with a New Prestigious Award
In front of 3,500 teachers, administrators, parents and board members at the annual California Association for Bilingual Education Conference, Californians Together announced the beginning of the California Campaign for Biliteracy.  "It is time for a new Campaign across Californian to develop preschool through high school programs that will prepare students with proficiency in two or more languages so they may speak to, from and across multiple communities and nations. 

The California Campaign for Biliteracy seeks to engage educators, policy makers ,parents and students who share the vision for multilingualism, and all understand the enormous benefits to individuals, society and the economy 

Press Release download
Campaign Publication download
San Francisco Unified School District EL Programs download
Glendale Unified School District EL Programs download

English Learners and the Common Core: A Parent Toolkit
"English Learner Success in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
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Your Voice, Your Advocacy: A Guide for Parents on How Your Support and the CCSS can Help Your Children Succeed in School"
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Available in English and Spanish
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This guide has been developed to help parents understand what the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are and how these standards will impact the academic success of English learners once they are implemented in the classroom. The guide provides information for parents to use when speaking with their child’s teacher, principal and other school staff to make sure he or she receives the learning supports to succeed academically. The Toolkit includes: • Background information on the opportunities and challenges that the Common Core Standards present for curriculum, instruction and assessment of English Learners • Focus on Common Core teaching practices and what instruction should look like in the classroom • Description of extra help English learners will need to meet the new Standards • Talking points and questions for parents to insert the needs of English Learners in Common Core Standards dialogues and discussions at their district or school site and the CCSS can Help Your Children Succeed in School 
Parent Toolkit order form download
Parents Guide - English download
Parent Guide Spanish download

Local Control Funding Formula and English Learners- Resources
The enactment of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) provisions has created a new landscape for California school finance.  Much confusion exists about what the impact of LCFF is on district responsibilities regarding programs for English Learners (EL). In addition, California Rural Legal assistance (CRLA), California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE and Californians Together sent a letter to all district and county superintendents as a reminder of the continuing state and federal obligations with respect to both programs and funding of services of EL.  Download the full letter below and a power point to explain the content of the letter. Californians Together, CRLA, CABE and California Latino School Boards Association have been providing workshops for DELAC members and parent leaders across the state.  Below are resources from the training and tools that can be used with parents and educators.
LCFF Superintendent letter download
LCFF Power Point download
LCFF for Parent Training PPT in Spanish download
LCFF for Parent Training PPT in English download
Suggested Roles for DELACs - English download
Suggested Roles for DELACs -Spanish download
EL Strategies aligned to 8 state priorities download
EL Strategies aligned to 8 state priorities - Spanish download
UCP Complaint Form aligned to LCFF - English download
UCP Complaint Form aligned to LCFF - Spanish download

Local Control Funding Formula
The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is a new school finance system.  Schools no longer receive funding through the Economic Impact Aid for English learners.  There are many details to the new LCFF that not been determined and will be developed through regulations, template and rubrics to be adopted by the State Board of Education.  We will continue to add  new information and documents to this posting as they become available.  There is a need to ask questions, and be informed about this significant change in school funding in order to protect and advocate for "increased program and services" for English learners as required by the state statue. 
Californians Together Input to SBE on LCFF download
CDE and SBE Implementation Letter download
ACSA,CASBO, CSBA Letter download
FAQs on LCFF and EIA Carryover download
ACLU LCFF Information Handout download
LCFF Coalition Press Release download
LCFF Coalition Letter to Supt. download
LCFF Coalition Letter to SBE 8/13 download

Brownley Puts the California Seal of Biliteracy on the National Stage
Representative Julia Brownley (D - Westlake Village) introduced the Biliteracy Education Seal and Teaching (BEST Act, legislation that would help states create a State Seal of Bilteracy to recognize high school students graduating with proficiency in both English and a second language.  The BEST Act would establish a grant program at the Department of Education supporting states to establish and improve their own Biliteracy Seal programs.  Read the press release, the text of the bill and our letter of support below. 
Press Release download
HR 2549 Bill text download
Californians Together letter of support download

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 education 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
Order Form download
Background Paper download
Talking Points for Policy Makers and Community Members download
Palm Card download
Talking Points for Educators download

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

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.  
Order Form download
Secondary School Course Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long Term Englis download

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 download

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.
Policy Brief download
Press Release download
media advisory download

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.
Executive Summary download
Press Release download
Reparable Harm Order Form download
LA Times Article download
Ed Week Article download
Reparable Harm Power Point download
The Complete Report download
Spanish Executive Summary download

Our Mission

Californians Together believes that all children are equal and have a right to a quality education to fully participate economically, intellectually, politically and socially in a democratic society.

Californians Together aims for an educational system that is funded and is structured so every child will have full access to a high quality curriculum and will graduate from our public schools with:

· Mastery of the core curriculum;
· Preparation for higher education;
· Knowledge and skills for productive workforce participation;
· Communication and literacy skills in more than one language;
· Informational and technological literacy;
· Connections to their families and communities;
· Skills for full civic participation;
· Cross-cultural skills and knowledge.

What We Do

Californians Together works hand-in-hand with its coalition members, educators and supporters of English Learners in a variety of ways, such as:

Developing education policy and advising legislators and policy makers;
Promoting the educational development of teachers and administrators through professional development workshops and institutes;
Supporting and encouraging parent involvement;
Seeking and developing collaborations and partnerships with private and public entities that are supportive of English Learners;
Working with various school districts and governmental bodies to develop strategies to best address the needs of all English Learners.