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Californians Together Launches the English Learner Leadership & Legacy Initiative

Californians Together, in collaboration with the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), has developed the EL Leadership & Legacy Initiative (ELLLI) as a three year effort that will initially result in a group of nineteen new English Learner (EL) education advocates/leaders. These EL fellows will be equipped to advance proactive projects (such as the current biliteracy campaign), as well as to respond effectively to anticipated political challenges at state and local levels. In addition to the preparation of selected cohorts of new EL leaders, the project aims to make more widely available an EL leadership and legacy curriculum that can empower many other leaders at the local, regional and state levels. The project will draw on the perspectives of many senior EL leaders, and current advocates for ELs and will use a blend of whole group training insinuates, one-on-one coaching and mentoring and project based experiences.

The goal of the initiative is to develop a new generation of strong, well-informed, skilled, courageous and activist leaders to build and sustain the movement for educational equity and excellence for English Learners. The  EL Leadership and Legacy curriculum will provide and advocacy framework, historical context, lessons from the past, immersion in research, mentor-ship and skill development to inspire and prepare advocates to work at multiple levels (state, district, community) to establish strategic action agendas, move policy and practice, develop and leverage research, work with media, and build and mobilize coalitions championing the right to quality education for English learners.

Fellows include classroom teachers, site and district administrators, county El director, graduate students, civil rights attorney, CSU faculty. Mentors  include current and emeritus CSU and independent IHE faculty, current and former district and county EL administrators, an education/civil rights attorney, former president of California Latino School Board Association, and current school board member and former CABE board members.

Each fellow has developed a project that will serve as a principal vehicle for growth and application of the skills and knowledge that they are developing through ELLLI. Projects include: a comprehensive ELD instructional plan and plan for district PD, major expansion of the bilingual teacher pipeline, a regional biliteracy campaign, local district improvement in reclassification by means of effective implementation of evidence-based EL instruction, improvements in local and state-wide assessments of ELs, development of a county -wide task force to advocate for ELs, a regional effort to focus LCFF funds on use of effective instructional practices for ELs, and impact on the LCAPs in many district, identification and promotion of high quality Early Childhood Education approaches for Dual Language Learners(DLLs/ELs), promotion of parent engagement with the aim of developing new multilingual/bilingual opportunities for all, expansion of bilitearcy pathways at K-8 levels, and identification and promotion of viable newcomer immigrant youth programs and service.

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