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Teachers: what would help you serve English learners? Federal government wants to know

Second-grade teacher Vickie Boudouris goes over a worksheet in an English-learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School in June, in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Under Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, California schools will receive an ad

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Second-grade teacher Vickie Boudouris goes over a worksheet in an English-learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School in Rancho Cordova.

The federal Department of Education wants to hear from teachers and administrators whose students are English learners on what help they need in educating that tough population.

In a notice in the Federal Register Thursday morning, the agency said comments can be submitted online or through the regular mail and will be evaluated by its  National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. The deadline is Sept. 25 and submissions will be made public, as required by the Freedom of Information Act.

"With this RFI the Department seeks to gather information on (a) how we can improve the content of the information that we disseminate through NCELA and (b) how NCELA can tailor its existing services and resources to deliver relevant and pertinent information to the EL community at large," the notice explains. It includes a list of specific questions on what areas educators could use more guidance.

The agency points out that federal law requires states to ensure "all children, including children with limited English proficiency,  meet the same challenging academic and achievement standards all students are expected to meet."

Students who are still learning English score lower than average on California standardized tests and are a focus of Governor Jerry Brown's new funding formula, which gives extra money to district with large numbers of these students.

What gets in the way of helping English learners? What helps? Tell us in the comment section bellow.

 

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