Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Education

Audit: ELLs Aren’t Central to Buffalo District’s Plans

By Mary Ann Zehr — May 17, 2010 1 min read

English-language learners don’t have adequate access to the core instructional program in the public schools of Buffalo, N.Y., concludes the Council of the Great City Schools in an audit of the district’s ELL programs.

“For the most part, ELLs were often separately served or were served in a way that did not build academic vocabulary, comprehension skills, or English-language-acquisition skills,” write the authors of the report. See an article published today by the Buffalo News about the report (hat tip to GothamSchools).

The report says that the school district has made strong academic progress across the board, but adds that “this report is how an otherwise well-articulated academic program that is showing strong overall gains can miss students who are learning English as a second language.”

The authors of the report say they were very impressed with the district’s director of multilingual education, who was hired in 2006. At the same time, they say that many staff members across the district don’t take responsibility for the education of ELLs and have low expectations for such students.

The report characterizes academic-proficiency rates for ELLs in the district as “very low,” saying the achievement appears to be about the same as for students with disabilities.

It credits the district’s superintendent, James Williams, and the Buffalo school board for requesting the audit and says both the superintendent and board are starting to ask important questions about the education of English-learners.

The council has previously found other urban school districts to have inadequate services for ELLs in similar audits. In 2008, it said Seattle’s programs needed to be overhauled. Update: In my original post, I was wrong in saying the council conducted an audit of ELL programs in Portland, Ore. State reviewers examined Portland’s ELL programs and said they needed to be improved.

The council has also published a report about four school districts it deems as doing a good job with ELLs at the elementary school level. They are Dallas, San Francisco, New York City, and St. Paul, Minn.

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

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

BASE Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Director of Information Technology
Montpelier, Vermont
Washington Central UUSD
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Director of Athletics
Farmington, Connecticut
Farmington Public Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read