Duncan Doesn’t Mention ELLs While Visiting Bilingual School

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 09, 2009 1 min read
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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan focused on early childhood education, not the needs of English-language learners, while visiting the Oyster-Adams Bilingual School yesterday, according to my colleague Christina Samuels, who reported on the press conference there.

Samuels told me this morning she can’t recall that he made any mention of ELLs. That’s despite the fact he was visiting a school that gives instruction in both English and Spanish to all students, including many ELLs. He could have worked ELLs into the conversation in a number of ways, but didn’t.

I’m puzzled why the Obama administration seems to be missing opportunities to discuss its priorities for ELLs, which is a rapidly growing group of students in this country.

Some researchers who specialize in the education of ELLs would have been delighted if Duncan had encouraged schools to use stimulus funds for ELLs in the same way that he encouraged them to consider using such funds for early childhood education.

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