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Alliance for a Better Community (ABC) Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) Asian Pacific Islanders California Action Network (APIsCan) Association of Two-Way Dual Language Education (ATDLE) Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) California Association for Asian Pacific Bilingual Education (CAFABE) California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) California Association of Bilingual Educators - Political Action Committee (CABE-PAC) California Council of Teacher Educators (CCTE) California Federation of Teachers (CFT) California Latino School Boards Association (CLSBA) California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF) California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of other Languages (CATESOL) Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) Centro Latino for Literacy Excellence and Justice in Education (EJE) Families in Schools (FIS) National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) Parents for Unity Transforming Education for English Learners Consulting (TEEL) United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)

EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:00 PM NOON:  JUNE 26, 2012  Media Contact:  Shelly Spiegel‐Coleman  Executive Director  (562) 756‐0493   

  (Sacramento, CA) – Today a policy brief delineating essential elements of  teaching practices for new and current teachers to accelerate the language and  academic achievement of English Learners was released by Californians Together  in collaboration with the Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL), Loyola  Marymount University and the Center of Equity and Biliteracy Education  Research, San Diego State University.     The president of Californians Together, Michael Matsuda explains why the  conclusions in this brief are so critical for educating California’s English Learners.  “Our school system must be prepared to support teachers to change the effects  that California’s public education has suffered from over ten years of “drill and  kill, and a narrow‐focused reading and math curricula which has kept English  Learners from receiving a comprehensive curriculum of high quality science,  social science and the arts.”    “It is clear from the research that teachers are one of the most powerful agents  for English Learner success. The scarcity of consistent and focused research‐ based professional development and preparation for teachers of English Learners  (ELs) is a major contributing factor to the lack of adequate language and  academic development”, reports Dr. Magaly Lavadenz, CEEL Director, Loyola  Marymount University.      The brief identifies four essential elements that emerge from the review of  effective practices in EL program implementation and are designed to inform,  influence and support school leaders and policy makers.   They are:    1. Rigorous and Relevant Instructional Practices  2. Multiple Measures for English Learner Assessment  3. Assessing Practices of Teachers of English Learners  4. Collaboration and Professional Development             

Current state policy and many practices for preparing and supporting teachers   are inadequate and inconsistent with the research on raising the achievement   of California’s English Learners 

Good Teaching is Critical for California’s English Learners   

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Dr. Elvira Armas, Associate Director of CEEL states, “To have a teacher evaluation system that  demonstrates increased teacher quality for English Learners, we have to build a system that  provides teacher preparation and professional development that is informed by these essential  elements.”  The brief concludes with three recommendations for the state and local school districts. The  priorities call for:  1.  Clear and coherent local and state‐level policies for implementing programs,  curriculum, and assessments must be in place.  Teachers do not teach in a vacuum.    These needed structures must be in place to support the preparation of teachers to  implement English Learner research-based effective strategies and programming. 2. Adequacy of school resources and a realignment of resources to ensure quality materials, programming and most importantly professional development for administrators and teachers focused on meeting the needs of English Learners. 3. Incorporating the four critical elements of effective practice in teacher preparation, credential requirements and professional development as identified in the policy brief. For teachers of English Learners, good teaching is just not enough. Specific support and preparation that is grounded in English Learner research must be a priority for the state, districts and schools if California’s 1.4 million English Learners are to succeed in school.
Californians Together is a statewide coalition of parents, teachers, education advocates and civil rights groups committed to improving policy and practice for educating English Learners. It is a non-profit organizations that mobilizes communities to protect and promote the rights of 1.4 million English Learners (25% of California students K-12). Californians Together has served for 13 years as a statewide voice on behalf of language minority students in California public schools.