From the Executive Director
As we launch into the second half of the 2022-2023 program year, I am proud of what we’ve accomplished and acutely aware of the power of our collective work to expand equitable opportunities for multilingual learners. Despite the slowdown in our economy, we are encouraged by the Governor’s budget efforts to protect crucial investments that ensure more equitable learning environments for our youngest learners. We continue our work with educators, school leaders, and partners to lift up and implement evidence-based, linguistically and culturally affirming approaches to educational equity.
We hit the ground running this fall as we fully returned to both in-person and hybrid convenings, meetings, and trainings across the state. Over the next few months we will publish three new publications: an ELs and STEM National Academies brief, a Community Schools brief co-authored with CSLX, and a blog on virtual learning during the pandemic. To help us build capacity and chart the course for SEAL’s future, we’ve added more team members who embody the values, lived experiences and bold leadership needed to transform practice and systems.
We remain committed to continuing our collaborative work with teachers, coaches and education leaders, while also being a resource to the state, policymakers and you. We look forward to our work together in 2023 so that we all remain focused on transforming education in California in the most equitable ways.
We hope you enjoy a snapshot of our last quarter and some highlights of events to come.
Advocacy. Policy. Research.
IN THE NEWS: SEAL Executive Director Anya Hurwitz joined CA practitioners, advocates, students and legislators to give their first take on the governor’s budget proposal in a recent EdSource article. Anya shared SEAL’s thoughts on its priority for early education and K-12 budget proposals during an expected economic downturn for California. We join our partners and continue to urge our state to support sustained investments for teachers and our youngest learners. Click below to read more about our collective thoughts.
- Read SEAL’s reaction to the governor’s early education budget proposal
- Read SEAL’s reaction to the governor’s K-12 budget proposal
New SEAL BRIEF: The California Department of Education will soon release a new Mathematics Framework that could significantly strengthen the pipeline of underrepresented English learner/emergent bilinguals (ELs/EBs) into STEM careers. SEAL’s latest brief will focus on research-based guidance from a 2018 National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report and bring to life how California educators can align the proposed Math Framework policy with the realities of teaching and learning in the classroom.
POLICY BRIEF: K-12 educators and faculty lifted up SEAL as one of the state recommendations in Public Advocates policy brief. The brief focuses on the experiences of current and former K-12 educators of multilingual learners and the landscape of bilingual education from the perspective of faculty of bilingual authorization programs. The brief outlines recommendations for the state that would expand and strengthen educator preparation to better serve multilingual learners’ needs and to increase their access to school programs and academic content. Read the policy brief authored by Public Advocates Education Equity Team Senior Staff Attorney Shilpa Ram.
SBE MEETING: In November, SEAL joined Californians Together and 13 English learner partners and advocates from CABE, Families in Schools, Mount Diablo Unified School District and PIQE to provide testimony at the State Board of Education (SBE) meeting on the State Accountability System. We each provided testimony regarding the State’s Data Dashboard, the Academic and English Language Progress Indicators, and accountability for ELs within LCAPs. We urged the board to re-examine how the academic indicators, ELPI, DA and CSI/ATSI are structured to address the needs of English learners. We expressed our willingness to work with the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education on this critical issue. Our voices were heard, and several SBE board members spoke to the issues we raised. Listen to the testimony and comments from the State Board President, Linda Darling Hammond and board member, Gabriela Orozco Gonzalez. SBE will bring back the agenda for further conversation and SEAL will join partners again to continue raising awareness and voices.
HOW DO KINDERGARTNERS LEARN BEST? SEAL’s Anya Hurwitz took part in the second of a six-part webinar series by The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and New America’s Early & Elementary Education Policy Program that promotes impactful teaching and learning in kindergarten. Anya with leaders from Stand for Children, Temple University, and Tools of the Mind explored research findings on teaching and learning in kindergarten and explored strategies and approaches for teaching in the way young children learn best. Watch clip from Part 2 and register now for the upcoming webinars.
CENTERING EQUITY IN K-12 SYSTEMS: In November, SEAL’s Executive Director Anya Hurwitz moderated a panel at the Fall 2022 Birth to 12th Grade Water Cooler Conference focused on centering equity in K-12 systems. The panel discussed systemic change and building systems that are rooted in racial equity and lifted up equity initiatives that intentionally build a collective vision, support capacity building, and use targeted resource allocation to meet the needs of the most impacted and underserved students. Relive the conference HERE.
THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF MULTILINGUAL LEARNING: SEAL with Early Edge California joined Bay Area Council Economic Institute and Sobrato Philanthropies as a panelist to discuss their recent report: The Economic Benefits of Multilingual Learning. The report findings reveal that supporting multilingual learning among California’s youngest children can improve educational outcomes, boost household incomes, and give California companies the edge needed to compete on the world stage.
Listen to the discussion and download the report today!
SEAL in the Field
OUR WORK GROWS: SEAL’S Full Model continues to be delivered in both hybrid and in-person structures serving preschools and elementary schools throughout California. Our Design for Change work is moving forward with a very positive reception as we continue to be responsive to the needs of our partners and the field more broadly. Through EL RISE!, SEAL continues to deliver virtual professional learning in partnership with 20 California county offices of education. We’ve developed 10 new offerings in the last six months and delivered 58 virtual sessions. Within our federally funded National Professional Development project in LAUSD, PEARLL Pathway 2, we are piloting a new hybrid model of delivery that includes in-person training along with an online course and community of practice. And the work continues to grow!
SEAL CONVENINGS BRING TOGETHER HUNDREDS: From October to December 2022, SEAL gathered hundreds of California education leaders and partners for three separate convenings – Bilingual, New Administrator, Administrator – each with its focused and in-depth all-day interactive sessions. Attendance was high and feedback was strong. Leaders continue to highlight that interaction and networking with one another is extremely valuable and supportive to their work. The sessions included an overview of research and interactive sessions to build bilingual support in families, dialogue for increased systems alignment, problem-solving, shared successes and more. In February, we’ll host our first in-person early learning leadership convening since Covid! Look forward to this and more to come!
Follow our work at @SEALedEquity – Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
CONGRATULATIONS: Shout out to our very own Associate Director Charice Guerra, who has been elected to the IQC Executive Committee as a member and appointed to be the Chair of the ELA/ELD Subject Matter Committee. The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) is an advisory body to the State Board of Education (SBE). The IQC is responsible for advising the SBE on matters related to curriculum and instruction. Among the various 2023 goals for the IQC are to support the revision of the Mathematics Framework and the upcoming Mathematics Instructional Materials Adoption.
SEAL IS CABE 2023 BOUND: We are excited to be part of CABE’s – in person – annual conference with eight sessions presented by SEAL team members for educators, community partners and families. We look forward to “Testimonios: The Power of Our Stories, Our Art and Our Dreams” on March 22 – 25, 2023, at the Long Beach Convention Center. Click HERE to learn more about our various sessions.
See you there! Register Today
CENTRAL VALLEY ED CHAMPIONS: SEAL is partnering with Californians Together, PIQE, Teach Plus and multilingual champions in the Central Valley Multilingual Consortium to develop an English learner policy agenda. The last of three virtual sessions will be held Saturday, February 4, 2023, to review policy recommendations based on the listening sessions and conversations with education leaders in the Central Valley and work to refine those recommendations to develop a Central Valley English Learner Policy Agenda. Register Today.
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Resources and Tools
EL Curriculum Brief Series: Sobrato Family Foundation‘s new series of briefs, “Effective Curriculum for English Learner Success,” grapples with several aspects of curriculum and materials that are key to educational equity for ELs. Each brief focuses on different aspects of what it means to address the “curriculum” portion of creating EL responsive and effective schools.
CASE STUDIES & TOOLKIT
Our series of in-depth school district case studies are full of powerful stories that can inspire more districts and supporters to embrace and invest in EL/DLL strategies. Our Toolkit pulls quotes, images, and facts from each of the narratives and offers critical learnings from the districts’ implementation experiences.