Disagreement Over Florida’s Requirements for Teachers of ELLs

By Mary Ann Zehr — December 17, 2007 1 min read
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For months, Florida educators have been debating what level of training should be required of reading teachers who work with English-language learners. In June, Florida Gov. Charlie Christ vetoed a bill that would have lessened the requirements in English-as-a-second-language training to 60 in-service hours for reading teachers who teach ELLs, down from 300 hours. This fall, a similar bill (Senate Bill 286) was introduced in the Florida legislature. An analysis of the bill is available here.

To get a sense for the passion of educators fighting for and against a reduction in training, read my earlier blog entries, here, and here.

Alberto M. Carvalho, the associate superintendent for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, argues against the bill pending in the Senate in a Dec. 14 commentary, “Don’t Lower Teaching Standards,” in the Miami Herald.

“Researchers will tell you that teaching children to read is rocket science,” Mr. Carvalho writes, adding that teaching children to read while they are learning English is “a complex and challenging task.”

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