Funders to Discuss How to Make ELLs a High Priority

By Mary Ann Zehr — June 15, 2010 1 min read
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Three groups of funders have joined together to host a meeting in New York City next week about strategies for making English-language learners a high priority among grantmakers and policymakers. The meeting is a two-day briefing on ELL issues for members of Grantmakers for Education, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, and Philanthropy New York. (Hat tip to It’s Your World Blog.)

I’m not in the inside circles in philanthropy, but this is the first meeting I’ve ever heard of convened by grantmakers specifically to discuss how to support the success of English-language learners. The presenters at the meeting will include an advocate of ELLs, Delia Pompa of the National Council of La Raza; a couple of academics, Eugene Garcia of Arizona State University, Pedro Noguera of New York University, and several officials of foundations, including Andres Henriquez, of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, who I know has an interest in the education of ELLs. (@AndresHenriquez publicizes a lot of great information about the education of ELLs/Latinos on Twitter.)

One of the goals of the meeting is for the funders to discover common goals and consider collaborating together in funding “across different areas of interest.” I’ll be curious to learn if the grantmakers do launch a common initiative to improve the education of ELLs.

Another goal is to “explore the level of interest in an ongoing ELL learning community focused on improving education outcomes and opportunities.”

I’m not sure who would be invited to join that “on-going ELL learning community” but let’s just imagine for a moment that we are all eligible to join.

What would you most like funders to know about issues affecting ELLs? Tell us in the comment section.

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