“The reality of the achievement gap is staggering…
[and] the achievement gap is not just an educational issue;
it is also a civil rights issue.”
Jason Kamras, Teaching As Leadership
Expectations and rigor must be raised for all students including English Language Learners (ELLs). As a group, ELLs:
Are more likely to come from poor households than non-ELLs
Graduate at a lower rate than that of M-DCPS students as a whole
Are retained at rates higher than that of non-ELLs
Are the fastest growing segment of the public school population in Florida
On the 2010 FCAT, in grades 6-8, 16% of current ELLs performed within achievement levels 3-5 on the 2010 Reading FCAT. In grades, 9-10 about 7% of ELLs met this goal. However, in a longitudinal study the academic performance of students in ELL cohorts increased rapidly with time and at times, the ELL Cohort exceeded the average M-DCPS students’ achievement in both reading and math.
The ETO ELL Team is dedicated to improving teaching and learning for all English Language Learners (ELLs)
in our 108 schools.
The ETO will ensure success by creating a learning community across schools. This infrastructure will support new ESOL teachers by providing:
o Initial targeted training through the Teachers’ Academy in August to include ESOL strategies, bell-to-bell ESOL framework, ELL specific goal setting and assessment, core and supplemental instructional materials and appropriate curricular pacing
o Ongoing in class support to include structured observations, constructive feedback and consistent modeling of best practices by ESOL Coaches
o Job-embedded troubleshooting through weekly common planning sessions
o Monthly professional developments for ESOL teachers on ESOL strategies, differentiation and assessment.
o Lesson study opportunities for ESOL teachers across schools.
o An online forum for sharing of best practices.
o And mentoring by a team of experienced ESOL professionals.
Sustainability of this initiative is ensured by focusing on the development of high level ESOL teachers to become future administrators, instructional coaches, and lead teachers that understand the needs of this unique demographic of students.