Lau Resource Center Newsletter
Welcome to the first edition of the Lau Resource Center Update in a new Web-based format. We are discontinuing the use of the PDF format used in previous editions currently posted on our website. The web-based format will be used moving forward. You will find in the update information and resources for teachers and educators working with English language learners. We are hopeful that you will find this format a quick read and convenient. The Lau Resource Center update is published on quarterly basis and special editions are issued when necessary.
Did you know? Celebrating Two Major Accomplishments
Did you know this year marks the 40th anniversary of Lau v. Nichols U.S. Supreme Court Decision of 1974? This ruling expanded rights for students with limited English proficiency. Did you also know that this year also marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education? This Supreme Court case declared segregated schools unconstitutional.
English Language Proficiency Standards
Ohio will be transitioning to a new set of rigorous English language proficiency standards that correspond to Ohio’s New Learning Standards in school year 2014-2015 with full implementation in school year 2015-2016. Ohio schools may continue to use the old Ohio English language proficiency standards in school year 2014-2015, train their teachers on the new English language proficiency standards or use a combination of the two sets of standards. However, school teachers and administrators should be fully aware that the Ohio Test for Language Acquisition (OTELA) will be administered in school year 2014-2015 and is based on the old standards to assess the progress of English language learners. Consequently, the Lau Resource Center is currently developing an instructional guide to help implement the new standards. The guide will be available in the fall along with other guidance and tips for transitioning from the old to the new standards. Sessions focusing on the implementation of the new English language proficiency standards or the combination of the two standards for the transition year will be provided at the annual Ohio Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages conference in conjunction with the Lau Resource Center on Nov.14 and 15, 2014.
Questions and Answers Regarding Inclusion of English Learners with Disabilities in English Language Proficiency Assessments and Title III Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives
The U.S. Department of Education released a new guideline in question and answer format regarding the inclusion of English language learners with disabilities in English language proficiency assessments under Titles I and III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. This can be found at the following link.
Third Grade Reading Guarantee Parent Roadmaps
Ohio is working hard to make sure that all young children get the basic reading skills they need to be successful in school now and in higher grades.
At the beginning of each school year, schools are checking every child in kindergarten through Grade 3 to see if they are reading as well as they should be for their grade level. If your child’s reading is not on track for the grade level, he or she will receive extra reading help in school.
For parents of struggling readers in kindergarten or Grades 1, 2, 3 or 4, the Ohio Department of Education has new Parent Roadmaps that describe what parents can expect at school and what they can do to help at home. Efforts are underway to translate the Parent Roadmaps into some of the top languages spoken by Ohio English language learners. Districts and community schools are encouraged to do the same with their top language groups if possible.
Helping English Learners Show What They Know and Are Able to Do
All students, including English learners, are required to participate in statewide assessments and have their assessment results included in the state’s accountability system. While there may be exceptions in some states, English learners who are in U.S. schools more than a year will be expected to participate in the new PARCC computer-delivered assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. Click on this link for more information.
Flowchart for Exiting Students from the English Language Program
Ohio’s exit criteria for English language learners is posted on the Ohio Department of Education website. However, a flowchart explaining the various ways to meet the exit criteria has been created to assist Ohio school districts and community schools in making appropriate exiting decisions.
Professional Development Opportunities
Nov. 14 and 15, 2014 - Ohio Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages conference in conjunction with the Lau Resource Center, Ohio Department of Education, Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio.
Nov. 21-23, 2014 - American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), San Antonio, Texas.
March 25-28, 2015 – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages International Convention, Toronto, Canada.
For more information on the education of Ohio’s English language learners contact Abdinur Mohamud, Ph.D., at the Lau Resource Center of the Ohio Department of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Anita Bowden at 614-466-4109.