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School Choice & Charters

Trend Watch: Charter Schools and ELLs in Boston

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 23, 2010 1 min read

Five proposed new charter schools in the Boston area hold promise for English-language learners, says an editorial published in The Boston Globe. A review by the newspaper in 2009 showed that only one Boston charter school, Excel Academy Charter School, located in East Boston, enrolled more than 4 percent English-language learners.

The editorial notes that the executive director of Excel is seeking state approval to open four new schools, which it says are likely to attract students from immigrant communities. And another school, proposed by the executive director of MATCH, aims to focus on educating English-language learners. MATCH runs a middle school and high school in Boston.

It’s interesting that the editorial board of a mainstream, big-city newspaper is paying attention to whether charter schools are serving ELLs. The issue of whether charter schools are appropriately reaching out to immigrant families and are prepared to help students who are new to the language has cropped up in public debates in Massachusetts and New York state.

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