OCR Prodded Salt Lake City to Improve ELL Programs

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 03, 2009 1 min read
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Over the last eight years, with prodding from the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights, the Salt Lake City school district has stepped up training for teachers on how to work with English-language learners. A story published this week in the Salt Lake Tribune (which I picked up from This Week in Education) tells how Salt Lake City was one of 10 Utah districts that was investigated by the federal government for not giving adequate instruction to English-language learners. And earlier this month, it became the last of those districts to become free of federal scrutiny.

The Salt Lake City school district certainly isn’t the first school district to have put ELLs in a “sink or swim” situation until they were forced by a complaint with the office for civil rights to provide adequate support for them.

If you think some of the administrators at your school district need more exposure to a rational for increased training for teachers to work with ELLs, you might want to circulate the Salt Lake City story.

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