As part of the settlement of a lawsuit involving English learners, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson last week announced he is seeking funding from the Legislature and the Department of Finance for three positions within the California Department of Education (CDE) to ensure English learners are receiving quality instruction.
“Serving English learners, who make up nearly one-quarter of our public school students, is one of my top priorities,” Torlakson said. “We are eager to carry out the terms of this settlement, including adding staff and providing additional guidance to districts, so together we can make sure English learners get the support they deserve.”
The settlement, Torlakson said, includes sending additional reminders to local educational agencies of their legal obligation to provide English learners with appropriate language instruction; modifying the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System to make it easier to determine whether a course provides English learner instructional services; and changing the way CDE monitors English learner programs.
In addition, CDE has provided extensive professional development for teachers instructing English learners, established a special unit to monitor services for English learners, and established the nation’s first State Seal of Biliteracy to be affixed to diplomas of graduating seniors who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English.
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