Are ELLs ‘Off the Radar’ for Grantmakers?

By Mary Ann Zehr — June 16, 2010 1 min read
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Yesterday, I invited you to weigh in with what you’d like to tell funders about the education of English-language learners. Stephen Krashen, a professor emeritus in education at the University of Southern California, was on message (I’ve observed he has several key messages) in advising funders to support libraries. Larry Ferlazzo, an ELL teacher in Sacramento, Calif., also weighed in over at his blog about how the voices of ELL teachers or grassroots community groups seemed to be missing from the agenda of the funders’ briefing about ELLs, scheduled for June 22 and 23, that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Previously Ferlazzo characterized private foundations as paternalistic (Update: See his clarification in comments that he applies that characterization to many but not all private foundations). A couple of others have also provided some advice to funders.

In reporting for a story that has nothing to do with ELLs, I spoke yesterday with Lois Leveen, the communications director for Grantmakers for Education, one of the funders’ groups hosting next week’s discussion in New York City. I forwarded her a link to my blog post about the meeting, hoping that she might bring it to the attention of funders attending the briefing. (So I really DO invite you to share your thoughts.)

She send me back a link to a blog post she wrote at the Grantmakers for Education Web site in April, in which she observed that “what’s most amazed us is how off-the-radar ELL remains for most funders.”

June 17 Update: The Huffington Post runs a piece about how funders are looking at ELL issues in education.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.