From: CSG West
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: CSG West Regional Roundup
Date: Fri Apr 04 17:13:26 MDT 2014
Body:

     

The Council of State Governments West

 

April 3, 2014

In This Issue
English Language Learners
State Visits
WLA Applications
2014 CSG & CSG West Annual Conference 

August 9-13. 2014
Anchorage Alaska
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April 15, 2 p.m.. EDT
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April 21, 11 a.m. EDT
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State Efforts to Teach English Language Learners

By Alma Lopez, CSG West Policy Analyst

 

graduates-sm.jpg According to the National Center for Education Statistics the population of English Language Learners (ELL) increased in public schools in the United States from 9 percent, or an estimated 4.1 million students, in 2002-03 to 10 percent, or an estimated 4.7 million students, in 2010-11. In 2010-11, schools in the Western states of Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and California had more than 10 percent of ELL students. Arizona, Utah, and Washington schools had percentages of ELL students ranging from 6 to 9.9 percent; while Montana and Wyoming had percentages between 3 and 5.9 percent. 

 

A disparity exists in the average reading scores between ELL and non-ELL students continues to exist despite years of efforts to address the achievement gap. Data from the National Assessment of Student Progress (pg 212) shows that the gap has not narrowed over the last 10 years. For 4th graders the average Non-ELL student scores is 225 while the average ELL student scores is 188, representing a 36 point gap in English comprehension. For 8th graders the average Non-ELL student score is 267 while the average ELL student scores is 224, representing a 44 point gap in English comprehension.

 

The Common Core Standards adopted in most states require all students to comprehend increasingly complex text and topics. ELL students will face a bigger challenge given the diverse population of ELL and their differences in ethnic background, first language, socioeconomic status, quality of prior schooling, and levels of English language proficiency.

 

States are responding to the growing population of ELL students and how to close the achievement gap. In California, Senator Ricardo Lara introduced SB 1174, the Multilingual Education for a 21st Century Economy Act, which would place an initiative before voters on the November 2016 ballot which would repeal Proposition 227. Proposition 227 requires  English language learners be taught English via English immersion programs and limited the amount of time a student could spend in a sheltered English immersion program to about one year. 

 

The Washington State Legislature is currently considering HB 1680, which would implement the suggestions of the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee. The bill would enact policies to enhance the cultural competence of current and future educators; provide English language learner and second language acquisition endorsements for all educators; and create new English language learner accountability benchmarks. Last year, the Nevada legislature considered AB 272 which would have moved the responsibility for creating plans to teach ELL students from the State Board of Education to individual school districts. Additionally, the bill required that teachers at schools where more than 25% of the students are ELL to have an endorsement to teach English as a second language.  

 

 

State Programs for English language Learners:

Alaska Arizona California Colorado Hawaii
Idaho Montana Nevada New Mexico Oregon

Utah Washington Wyoming

 

CSG West State Visits

Craig Johnson in Arizona
Alaska Representative Craig Johnson, CSG West Chair, addresses legislators in Arizona during CSG West's state visit.

From January thru March, CSG West staff conducted visits to state capitols during their legislative sessions. With some Western legislatures having shorter sessions on the second year of the legislative biennium, staff was able to make the visits prior to their adjournment. As of today, the legislatures of New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming have finished for the year. The legislatures of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii and Idaho are expected to adjourn within the next couple of months, while California will adjourn at the end of August. Montana and Nevada did not convene sessions this year.

 

The state visits provide CSG West staff an opportunity to meet and inform legislators and legislative staff about CSG West programs and services, such as the Western Legislative Academy and the upcoming joint CSG West & CSG National Annual Conference. The visits also provide a great opportunity to meet leaders and solicit ideas from lawmakers on ways to enhance our programs, address issues of regional interest, and conduct gatherings with Western Legislative Academy Alumni who help us recruit applicants for this important professional development program.

 

During the State Visit to Arizona in February, Rep. Craig Johnson, chair of CSG West, was able to join staff for a luncheon hosted for Arizona legislators which provided an opportunity to discuss the CSG Federalism Initiative

Apply Today for the Western Legislative Academy

 

The Western Legislative Academy (WLA) is an annual three and a half-day intensive training program and is an opportunity for Western state legislators in their first four years of service to sharpen skills needed for effective lawmaking, building support for the legislature as an institution and giving legislators from different states the opportunity to learn from each other. The WLA reinforces CSG West's mission to provide opportunities for Western state legislators to share good ideas across state borders. 

 

Each year CSG West brings together a distinguished national faculty to offer the West's premier training experience for Western state legislators in their first four years of service. The faculty is comprised of outstanding academics, corporate, military and public trainers who work with a small class of lawmakers who come from each of our 13 Western states. Members of the Academy are selected on the basis of their dedication to public service, desire to improve personal legislative effectiveness and commitment to the institution of the legislature.

 

More information...  

 

Apply Today...

The mission of CSG West is to facilitate regional, nonpartisan cooperation and exchange of information, and to strengthen legislative institutions among our 13 member states. These services are achieved through a variety of programs and services offered to legislators and their staff, including the convening of policy forums, professional development training, international relations opportunities, publications and institutional links with other political entities in the West.   

 

CSG West serves the Western legislatures of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Associate members include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the Pacific islands of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. 

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