Empowering Dual Language Learners Through Transitional Kindergarten Expansion

2024-04-02T11:08:13-07:00

TK Expansion and Dual Language Learners

In a world rich with diversity, our educational systems must reflect the richness of languages and cultures our children bring into the classroom. Recently, the Consortium for Multilingual Learner Success came together to discuss the expansion of Transitional Kindergarten (TK) programs, with a particular focus on nurturing multilingual learners. Moderated by Early Edge California’s Carolyne Crolotte, the discussion convened experts to explore the transformative potential of expanding Transitional Kindergarten (TK) programs to empower multilingual learners in California. The discussion was rich with insights, strategies and calls to action aimed at creating equitable educational opportunities for all children, regardless of linguistic background.

Panelist Dr. Anya Hurwitz from SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language) emphasized the need to center multilingual learners in educational initiatives. Anya’s insights set the stage for a discussion on the challenges and solutions surrounding TK expansion. Panelist Liz Alvarado from Californians Together highlighted the shortage of bilingual teachers and the need for comprehensive approaches to address workforce shortages. The state’s announcement of a $20 million budget allocation for bilingual teacher professional development grants provided a ray of hope, signaling progress in this critical area.

Throughout the webinar, panelists emphasized the transformative power of dual language immersion programs in TK expansion. These programs not only enhance language proficiency but also improve academic outcomes and foster cultural affirmation. The discussion also addressed systemic challenges such as language loss and inadequate classroom design, while offering potential solutions and advocating for systemic changes. From integrating language and content knowledge development in teacher preparation programs to fostering partnerships with newcomer families, the panelists outlined actionable strategies to drive positive change.

“So when a four year old comes into school, a brand new TK student comes into school for the first time, and when they’re told both explicitly and implicitly to leave their language and culture at the door . . . that language loss begins immediately. When we have not adequately designed our classrooms or schools and our systems, that child will very likely begin opting to respond to their own family members in English, and that can happen within days. A young child is brilliant. We know this. They learn quickly and will deeply understand unequal language status. So dual language programs inherently dismantle that very real trajectory and create culturally and linguistically affirming early learning that supports socio emotional and of course academic success.” – Dr. Anya Hurwitz

 

“… one thing that I will mention that I don’t think we’ve mentioned today is that that integrated delivery of language and content together is really best done in an early childhood education classroom for thematic instruction and math. And so this sometimes is contrary to the adoption of a curriculum where it’s giving you lessons, but we need to take those lessons and apply them into our thematic instruction to really integrate and engage kids in their learning in those playful ways that help them make deep meaning and connections with language and content.” – Liz Alvarado

Thank you to Alliance for a Better Community and the Consortium for Multilingual Learner Success Advisory Committee for hosting this convening. A full recording of the discussion can be viewed HERE.

By prioritizing culturally and linguistically affirming practices, investing in bilingual teacher development, and driving systemic change, we can create an educational landscape where every child has the opportunity to thrive. Together, let’s embrace the power of possibility and pave the way for a brighter future for all children in California and beyond.

______________________________

The Consortium for Multilingual Learner Success is composed of nearly 100 civil rights, policy, research, philanthropic, educator and community based organizations, all working to strengthen the prosperity of California and Los Angeles County by advocating for an education system that fully supports and embraces the assets of  multilingual students. SEAL is a proud member. To subscribe to the Consortium’s updates click HERE

 

Empowering Dual Language Learners Through Transitional Kindergarten Expansion2024-04-02T11:08:13-07:00

Testing Four-year-old CA Dual Language Learners Causes Anxiety and Concern

2024-03-26T10:26:35-07:00

New America Blog Highlights Anxiety and Concerns in Testing TK Four-year-old Dual Language Learners

Sarah Jackson’s insightful New America blog sheds light on the challenges surrounding the assessment of English proficiency in California’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. Jackson delves into the complexities arising from the clash between federal mandates required to assess and evaluate the English proficiency of students who speak a different language at home when enrolling in public schools and the practical and developmental realities of young TK students, particularly four-year-olds. She highlights the tension between standardized curriculum demands, the unique needs of these young learners and the “anxiety” of both teachers and students from the “required high-stakes testing.”

Nearly 60% of young children in California speak a language other than English at home.

Central to Jackson’s discussion is California’s English Language Proficiency Assessments (ELPAC) –  which are designed for older students and often fail to account for the developmental stage of four-year-olds. The test demands skills—reading, writing, listening, and speaking—that most young children are yet to master. It includes elements unfamiliar to many, exacerbating the challenge for young students already grappling with the transition to formal education.

She emphasizes the potential detrimental effects of this mismatch, including the unfair labeling of students and concerns about overidentification as English learners which may affect teacher expectations and instructional approaches.

Jackson writes “All four-year-old’s, educators say, are working on building oral language and vocabulary. Most children of this age are just beginning to recognize letters, but not forming words or sentences yet. Four-year-old’s are also working on getting used to being in school, learning to follow instructions, and having back and forth conversations with peers. For children of this age who may be dual language learners (DLLs), students are building those skills in their home language as well as English.”

Jackson interviews various CA school leaders including SEAL partners such as Oak Grove School District, Early Edge California and San Mateo County Office of Education.

However, Jackson doesn’t just highlight problems; she also highlights potential solutions identified by advocates and educators.

Jackson writes “Advocates and educators have been pushing the state to develop asset-based approaches to identifying multilingual children in order to best support their success in school. The state preschool program, for example, which serves children in a similar age group, has a brand new process for identifying students who are dual language learners.”

A current proposed CA bill – AB 2268 – authored by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi and co-sponsored by Early Edge California, Californians Together and CABE, would exempt TK students from taking the state’s English proficiency exam. SEAL supports this bill.

Jackson quotes Carolyne Crolotte, the director of dual language learner programs for Early Edge California. “We want to find a solution that is developmentally appropriate, that supports children’s bilingual development and that maintains spending levels that will support children’s needs,” Crolotte said.

Jackson’s blog can serve as a call to action for everyone committed to education – policymakers, educators, and stakeholders – to work collaboratively towards ensuring equitable assessment practices in TK programs. By prioritizing the developmental needs of young learners and investing in appropriate assessment tools, California can pave the way for a more inclusive and effective educational system for all students.

READ Jackson’s full article 

Photo by Sarah Jackson

Testing Four-year-old CA Dual Language Learners Causes Anxiety and Concern2024-03-26T10:26:35-07:00

SEAL at NABE 2024

2024-03-19T16:06:52-07:00

The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE)’s 53rd Annual Conference –  “Celebrating Heritage Language and Its Role in Promoting Multilingualism, Multiliteracy and Multiculturalism” –  will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 23 – 30, 2024. SEAL is a proud partner and will participate in two workshop sessions for educators, families and partners. See you there!

SEAL Sessions

Literacy Development for Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Education: Critical and Urgent Considerations

Dr. Anya Hurwitz (SEAL), Martha Hernandez (Californians Together), Dr. Laurie Olsen (SEAL), Socorro Herrera (Kansas State University)

Friday, March 29, 2024 | 5:10 – 6:30 p.m. CST

This presentation focuses on critical research on literacy development for dual language learners in early childhood classrooms. With the expansion of preschool programs, it is crucial to address the needs of children whose home languages are not English. The session reviews and builds upon understandings of effective instruction and assessment for early literacy development, exploring frameworks to equip educators with tools to provide socially just education for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Presenters highlight the latest research findings, address common misunderstandings, outline challenges, propose research-based pathways, and share exemplars of integrated language and literacy development.

Centering ELs in P3 Alignment – A framework to ensure equity-focused education preschool through early grades

Dr. Anya Hurwitz (SEAL), Martha Hernandez (Californians Together), Dr. Laurie Olsen (SEAL)

Saturday, March 30, 2024 | 8:00 – 9:20 a.m. CST

This session presents a new P-3 Framework for building systems for EL/DLL success across the crucial developmental phase ages 3 – 8, articulating pedagogical and system design principles based on effective practices for EL/DLLs, culturally and linguistically sustaining approaches, dual language development, and experience serving immigrant and EL communities. Leading experts discuss components of the Framework (curriculum/instruction, workforce, family/community partnerships, assessment, accountability) with field-based examples. Over a third of U.S. children 0-8 have non-English-speaking parents. This is a time of opportunity and urgency to adopt an EL-centered P3 framework, as significant investments in education are underway.

SEAL at NABE 20242024-03-19T16:06:52-07:00

State and Federal Officials Visit SEAL Partner DJUSD

2024-03-06T18:45:51-08:00

State and Federal Officials Visit SEAL Partner Davis Joint Unified School District

On February 23, 2024,  U.S. Department of Education Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director, Office of English Language Acquisition, Montserrat Garibay, and California Department of Education (CDE) Deputy Superintendent Sarah Neville Morgan joined  Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) Superintendent Matt Best on a visit of DJUSD schools as part of their dual language immersion California school visits.  

The delegation of state and federal officials first stop was Marguerite Montgomery Elementary’s Two-Way Bilingual Immersion program to learn first hand about the core elements of the schools eight-year partnership with SEAL.  At Marguerite Montgomery, SEAL pedagogy creates alignment and articulation across the grade levels through professional development, curriculum support and coaching. SEAL has helped to build community and uplift the assets of all students in an environment in which approximately 40 percent of students are native Spanish speakers. 

“It’s clear that the teachers are really invested in the SEAL program and to see it in action today is truly an inspiration.” – U.S Department of Education’s Assistant Deputy Secretary, Montserrat Garibay

Throughout the day, visitors conversed with teachers and students in Spanish about their reading and lessons, and they also had the opportunity to discuss with site leaders and district administrators the opportunities and benefits of multilingualism, as well as about the challenges in bilingual teacher recruitment.

Dual language immersion programs have shown to help children from English speaking and non-English speaking households in several ways, including to learn English, to help children become competent in their native language without sacrificing success in school, and to open up doors and bridge gaps between cultures and languages. 

“Dual language immersion programs connect students and families to a school in ways that can’t be replicated. The visit to Davis schools far exceeded the expectations of our CDE team and that of our U.S. Department of Education visiting delegation. This is truly what all schools should be doing.” – Deputy State Superintendent Sarah Neville Morgan.

To learn more information about immersion programming and World Language opportunities in DJUSD, visit our World Language web page. You may also visit DJUSD Graduate Profile to learn more about the District’s Graduate Profile. 

ABOUT DJUSD: 

The Davis Joint Unified School District provides innovative educational programs to approximately 8,350 students at 17 school sites. In partnership with parents, DJUSD helps students develop the abilities and values needed to reach their full potential. Each year, an average of 700 students graduate from District high schools. With approximately 1,000 employees, including 500 teachers, DJUSD contributes significant economic value to the community. For more information, visit www.djusd.net or facebook.com/DavisJointUnifiedSchoolDistrict.

State and Federal Officials Visit SEAL Partner DJUSD2024-03-06T18:45:51-08:00

Ways to Ensure English Learners Benefit from the Science of Reading

2024-03-06T18:42:47-08:00

Ways to Ensure English Learners Benefit from the Science of Reading

SEAL and New America convened a distinguished panel of experts from across the nation to delve into the critical relationship between the Science of Reading and English Learners. With more than 700 attendees, the discussion provided invaluable insights into the potential impact on multilingualism and English Learners.

Highlights from the discussion include three key take aways:

  1. Policies and practices enacted in the name of SoR must include much more than just phonics
  2. English learners’ oral language abilities in their home language and English should be the starting point for literacy instruction
  3. Consistent collaboration between English learner specialists and early literacy departments is key to ensuring English learners are not left out of SoR reforms

The event featured two panels with the first focused on research and advocacy and the second explored implementation of science of reading policies for English Learner identified students. To learn more about the panelists and to watch the full webinar click here.

Leslie Villegas from New America takes a deep dive into the conversation in her comprehensive blog post. Check out some excerpts below for a glimpse into her insightful analysis. For a full feature, click here.

 1. Policies and practices enacted in the name of SoR must include much more than just phonics

According to panelist Martha Hernandez, executive director for Californians Together, the prevailing narrative around the SoR has favored a very narrow definition on foundational skills and phonics. However, as professor of childhood education and literacy development at New York University, Susan B. Neuman explained, the large body of research behind the SoR emphasizes a structured literacy approach to instruction whereby students receive explicit and direct instruction on what are referred to as the “Huge Seven.” According to Neuman, the Huge Seven include the five pillars of reading from the National Reading Panel, plus two additional skills (highlighted in red), which the field now recognizes as being crucially important for students identified as ELs (Figure 1).

According to the SoR literature, these skills cannot be taught in isolation and must be taught in culturally responsive and personalized ways so that literacy lessons are meaningful to students. Hope Langston, director of instructional services at Northfield Public Schools in Minnesota, underscored the importance of recognizing background knowledge as content knowledge, highlighting that what a student learns in school contributes to their preexisting knowledge. Gladys Aponte, postdoctoral research scholar at The Children’s Equity Project at Arizona State University, added that because reading is cultural, and not just a static practice disconnected from children’s experiences, educators need to help students recognize and leverage their linguistic and cultural assets for literacy learning.

This broader conceptualization of SoR is critically important for schools with dual language programs because, as Hernandez shared, a narrow application of SoR through an English-centric lens can impact the integrity of bilingual programs and diminish the efficacy of their goals of multiliteracy. In New York City, the Office of Multilingual Students has been helping school districts implement their state-approved reading curricula in a way that maintains EL-classified students’ cultural and linguistic identities, shared Aponte. In one school district with a dual language program, for example, a pre-existing literacy implementation guide has been leveraged to help teachers foster translanguaging practices (i.e. moving fluidly between two languages) in their classrooms. These cross-linguistic practices have been embedded into curricula with the help of instructional coaches provided by the department of education who have been able to provide resources that pay explicit attention to biliteracy development (Spanish/English), not just English, within literacy development contexts.

2. English learners’ oral language abilities in their home language and English should be the starting point for literacy instruction

Several panelists remarked on how the vast research base on bilingual and biliteracy development is currently missing from the SoR conversation, so much so that we forget that students identified as ELs come to school with linguistic resources other than English. Panelist Ester de Jong, professor of culturally and linguistically diverse education at the University of Colorado-Denver, emphasized that these students have an oral base in their home language that has been developed through exposure and experiences in that language, a resource that is critical in second language acquisition. Students identified as ELs have seen literacy practices in their home language, even if in informal ways, and not taking these resources into account when it comes to literacy instruction puts these students at a disadvantage.

In practice, this means teachers must understand that they can and should build cross-linguistic connections (i.e. applying what is learned in one language to situations presented in another language) between their home language and English to encourage skill transfer and develop meta-linguistic awareness (i.e. understanding of how language works and how it changes and adapts). Additionally, panelists reminded the audience about the essential nature of English language development (ELD) services for students identified as ELs as it is intimately connected to their literacy development. ELD services are supposed to provide ELs access to grade level content and help them become proficient in English. However, as de Jong explained, ELs come with varying levels of English proficiency, which means instruction should be differentiated for students who are at the beginning levels of English language development. Langston shared that a simple yet massive shift for teachers at Northfield Public Schools was being able to offer their literacy screener in Spanish to newcomers and other EL students. Doing so has allowed them to see what their strengths are in their home language before they start anything else. Ultimately, the question is how to help all EL students understand the connection between what is in print and spoken language.

3. Consistent collaboration between English learner specialists and early literacy departments is key to ensuring English learners are not left out of SoR reforms

When SoR started rolling out in Oakland Unified School District, Nicole Knight, executive director of English language learner and multilingual achievement in Oakland shared that it was solely focused on foundational skills (i.e phonics) at the expense of broader literacy skills that are critical in the SoR. As a result, dual language instructors felt they were being pushed towards monolingual English instruction despite everything known about how ELs learn language and content. In response, Knight joined forces with the early literacy director and together created a language and literacy framework for all classrooms in grades TK–5.

Collaboration between early literacy and English learner teams allows for teacher professional learning that factors in both language and literacy needs for EL-classified students. In Oakland, for example, the district has been providing coaching to school sites as they adjust their language and literacy blocks to ensure they are allocating the right amount of time to each and that English language development was not being left out of the foundational literacy block. In Delaware, reading specialists and interventionists have been partners in helping teachers understand what skillful implementation of SoR materials look like when attending to the needs of ELs.

The joint statement described the SoR movement like a bad game of telephone plagued with frequent miscommunications or misinterpretations of the term “Science of Reading.” Many panelists expressed similar frustrations about the full message not getting to districts, parents, legislators, and the public at large, a problem they attributed largely to the simplistic way the issue is portrayed by the media. When asked where the message is getting lost, Neuman focused on journalists and the terms they use. “Our journalists are coming out with ‘phonics-based instruction’. And if you look at what the policy-makers are saying, they are mimicking what the journalists have told them or have said to them.” Instead, Neuman emphasized, the messaging should convey the importance of a comprehensive approach to literacy.

Webinar Resources:

 

Ways to Ensure English Learners Benefit from the Science of Reading2024-03-06T18:42:47-08:00

Welcoming Julie Castro Abrams & Dr. Ryan J. Smith to SEAL’s Board of Directors

2024-02-15T12:09:23-08:00

We’re thrilled to announce the addition of two exceptional individuals, Julie Castro Abrams and Dr. Ryan J. Smith, to the SEAL Board of Directors, further enriching our mission to prepare all English Learners and Dual Language Learners in California to learn, thrive and lead.

Julie Castro Abrams is an expert in board governance and building diverse boards that are a strategic advantage. She is an experienced non-profit CEO and entrepreneur, and through her consulting practice she supports leaders to build high-performance boards break through performance for the leaders and high performing multicultural teams. She is the CEO of How Women Lead, a network of over 20,000 women dedicated to promoting diverse women’s voices and propelling women’s leadership forward, as well as the Managing Partner of How Women Invest, the country’s largest venture fund focused exclusively on women founders.

Read more about Julie

Dr. Ryan J. Smith serves as the President and CEO of the Saint Joseph Center in Los Angeles, CA. For almost fifty years, One of LA County’s largest service providers, St. Joseph Center’s mission is to provide working class families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community. Prior to joining St. Joseph Center, he served as the Chief Strategy Officer for Community Coalition—an organization founded by Mayor Karen Bass with the mission of transforming the social and economic conditions of residents in South Los Angeles and beyond. Before his tenure at Community Coalition, Dr. Smith served as Interim CEO and Chief External Officer for LA Unified’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, an organization supporting 15,000 students and their families in Watts, Boyle Heights, and South LA.

Read more about Dr. Smith

Welcoming Julie Castro Abrams & Dr. Ryan J. Smith to SEAL’s Board of Directors2024-02-15T12:09:23-08:00

Reaching More Students and Educators Together with PNC Bank

2024-01-08T10:26:10-08:00

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to PNC Foundation and its PNC Grow Up Great initiative for their generous support and dedication to SEAL’s mission.

With PNC’s support, we will continue to expand our work in Southern California, transforming more classrooms into rigorous, engaging, joyful learning for all students and educators. This includes helping to fuel our professional development model in preschool classrooms.

Since 2004, PNC Grow Up Great has helped prepare children from birth through age 5 for success in school and life by supporting programs, resources and experiences that plant the seeds for a lifetime of opportunities. PNC’s commitment to high-quality early education has positively impacted over 8.1 million children. Learn more.

Reaching More Students and Educators Together with PNC Bank2024-01-08T10:26:10-08:00

The74: A Call for CA to Invest in Bilingual Ed

2023-11-30T15:07:30-08:00

California is the world’s fifth-largest economy and the most diverse in the nation. According to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute report, California’s economy is all about businesses going global and hiring a more diverse group of people  – thus, a multilingual workforce. The report goes on to say that California has the unique opportunity to foster early language skills in its 2.4 million multilingual children by implementing more multilingual programs across the state. Yet even with California’s visionary and innovative policies to support our future global needs – the English Learners Roadmap and Global California 2030 – we still trail far behind other states in actually offering bilingual education or dual-immersion programs especially to our multilingual learners.

Recently, two articles by Connor Williams, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, delve into the challenges and possibilities for achieving California’s multilingual goals, highlighting key insights and opportunities. In his opinion piece in The 74, California Celebrates Its Linguistic Diversity While Shortchanging Bilingual Ed, he shares that while “the state has done much to align its vision for ELs’ success with research on these children’s linguistic and academic development” the state’s investments are not keeping up with policy goals – placing CA behind.

“This ranks California well behind its peers—both EL-rich states like Texas and Illinois and less linguistically diverse states like Wisconsin and Alaska,” states Williams in The 74.

Williams’ The 74 piece is a follow up to more in-depth Century Foundation report by William’s and Jonathan Zabala, Moving from Vision to Reality: Establishing California as a National Bilingual Education and Dual-Language Immersion Leader which provides an in-depth analysis into data, history and policy implications. The authors conducted nearly two dozen interviews with researchers, advocates, and other stakeholders in California.

“Indeed, support for ELs’ bilingualism has not been a priority even in other new statewide education reforms. As we outline in the report, though California has invested major new public resources in trying to achieve universal access to early education programs for 4-year-olds and growing the state’s roster of community schools — ELs’ unique strengths and needs have not been central to these initiatives’ designs.” – states Williams in The 74.

With 60% of California children under the age of 5 living in a household with at least one parent who speaks a language other than English, imagine the opportunities we have to not only build bilingualism and biliteracy as we also build a pipeline for bilingual teachers, engineers, health providers and more!

Indeed there is still work to be done. Take a look at how we rank nationally. Below is Table 2 from Moving from Vision to Reality: Establishing California as a National Bilingual Education and Dual-Language Immersion Leader.

Table 2. Williams,C.

As fellow education champions, we encourage you to take a few minutes and dive into both articles – and share with your network. Social links can be found on both webpages.

Join us in championing opportunities and implementing research and evidence-based approaches for all children to succeed.

Williams says, “It is time for state and local leaders in California to deliver on the state’s EL Roadmap and Global California 2030 promises by: 1. significantly expanding multilingual instruction in the state—particularly via linguistically diverse, dual-language immersion schools; 2. investing short- and long-term resources in efforts to grow the state’s bilingual teacher pipelines; and 3. ensuring that the state’s 1.1 million ELs—who gain unique linguistic and academic benefits from bilingual and dual-language programs—are prioritized for bilingual and/or multilingual learning.

Together, we can create the opportunities all our children deserve to succeed. #MultilingualismIsPower

The74: A Call for CA to Invest in Bilingual Ed2023-11-30T15:07:30-08:00

SEAL October Speaking Engagements

2023-10-31T11:25:32-07:00

SEAL kicked off our second quarter with a bang! Our team of expert trainers, researchers and advocates participated in several virtual and in-person presentations, amplifying the need to support multilingual learners now and in the future.

During the month of October we shared our knowledge, as well as learned from partners and other experts, during these insightful conversations.

The following are key takeaways that emerged from these discussions:

From the Margins to the Center: Imagining Aligned PreK-3 Systems for Multilingual Learners

  • Host: Grantmakers for Education, Annual Conference 
  • SEAL Participants: Anya Hurwitz, Executive Director 
  • Topics:
    • Early childhood and K-12 segments alignment to create a continuously rich and meaningful learning experience for students. 
    • Preschool to 3rd grade coherence – how policies, practices, and systems can work in sync – for multilingual learners, children who far too often fall through the cracks throughout these early years.

Elevando las Expectativas: Proporcionándole a cada estudiante un camino hacia el multilingüismo (Spanish webinar)

Developing Literacy Skills with Interactive Read Alouds

  • Host: California Reading Association, Annual Conference 
  • SEAL Participants: Jennifer Clinkscales, Program Coordinator 
  • Topics
    • Integrating language, literacy and content 
    • Hands-on, effective strategies connecting the Narrative Input chart while incorporating literacy and language.

Unlocking Potential: Nurturing reading skills and biliteracy in English Learners (Webinar)

  • Host: GO Public Schools, Family Literacy series
  • SEAL Participants: Martha I. Martinez, Senior Director of Research and Evaluation 
  • Topics:
    • Best practices for supporting English Learners with developing as readers and writers
  • Access webinar resources
SEAL October Speaking Engagements2023-10-31T11:25:32-07:00

Policy and Advocacy: Victory for Ed Equity

2023-10-18T16:47:07-07:00

Four of the five bills we collaboratively supported were signed by Governor Newsom this month! Thank you to our bills authors, sponsors, writers and everyone who dedicated and lent their time and hearts to make these bills law. Below is a quick summary of what this means for students in California.

AB 370 (The Biliteracy Inclusion Act) This law is set to enhance the criteria for achieving the State Seal of Biliteracy by expanding rigorous options for students to demonstrate proficiency in English and a second language. Now, a greater number of students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their linguistic abilities and proudly earn the prestigious State Seal of Biliteracy. Thank you to bill sponsors Californians Together and California Association of Bilingual Education (CABE) for championing this cause. We also want to extend our appreciation  to Assemblymember Dawn Addis for her dedication in drafting and guiding this bill through the legislative process.

AB 393 (Dual Language Learner Identification) This new law will create a standardized process for relevant state agencies to identify and support dual language learners in the California Early Learning and Care system. Doing so is crucial for ensuring leaders and practitioners have the information they need to best serve the needs of these students. Thank you to bill sponsors Californians Together, Early Edge and CABE and to Assesmbleymember Luz Rivas for writing this bill and getting it turned into law. 

AB 714 (Newcomer Students) Thanks to this new law, the California Department of Education will now be required to provide districts with guidance for best supporting newcomer students. This law establishes a definition for newcomers and requires the collection of data to inform actions and programs for LEAs to meet their needs. Thank you to Assemblymember Kevin McCarty for your leadership in drafting and leading the way on this legislation.

 

AB 1127 (Bilingual Professional Development Program) This law re-established the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program–a successful method for addressing bilingual teacher shortages which ended in 2021. This program will empower local education agencies to partner with higher education institutions to provide professional learning opportunities to develop educators as they work to support students’ language needs.Thank you to bill sponsor Californians Together and to Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes for spearheading this bill.

 

AB 1106 will be reintroduced for 2024. Stay tuned. 

AB 1106 (Soria) – PK-3 early childhood education specialist credential: grant program.
Co-sponsored by Education Trust – West and Children Now

Current law requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to award planning grants of up to $250,000 each to regionally accredited institutions of higher education to develop plans for the creation of integrated programs of professional preparation that lead to more credentialed teachers with an emphasis on identified shortage fields, as provided. Current law requires the commission to also award implementation or expansion grants of up to $500,000 each for regionally accredited institutions of higher education to develop new programs of professional preparation or to establish a new partnership with a California community college, as provided. This bill would, separate from those grants, require the commission to develop and implement a program to award, on a competitive basis, planning grants of up to $250,000 each to regionally accredited institutions of higher education for the development of plans to guide the creation of programs of professional preparation, and implementation grants of up to $500,000 each to regionally accredited institutions of higher education for the implementation of programs of professional preparation, that lead to more credentialed teachers obtaining the PK-3 Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential, as provided. (Based on 03/30/2023 text)

Policy and Advocacy: Victory for Ed Equity2023-10-18T16:47:07-07:00
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