While New America's Dual Language Learners National Work Group launched publicly earlier this month, we actually began our work some weeks earlier at a small convening at our offices here in Washington, D.C. The Work Group brought together a variety of dual language learner (DLL) stakeholders—educators, administrators, parents, researchers, policymakers, advocates, and representatives of the philanthropic community—to discuss key challenges for improving how American schools serve these students.
The convening, Better Policies for Dual Language Learners, provided the Work Group with a day full of lively discussions between DLL experts from a variety of fields. In order to build on these conversations and share them with the broader education policy community, the Work Group published a short brief today synthesizing key takeaways from the event.
The brief, Better Policies for Dual Language Learners: Bridging Research, Policy, Implementation, and Classroom Practice, summarizes presentations from the convening. State policymakers and advocates from Minnesota, California, and New York joined district administrators and researchers from these and other states to provide convening participants with updates from the cutting edge of DLL reforms.
The brief also captures points of consensus and disagreement from the day's discussions. For instance, while essentially all participants raised concerns regarding inadequate funding for supporting DLLs' linguistic and academic growth, there was less unanimity about appropriate ways to hold schools and districts accountable for serving DLLs well.
One note: This is the first of the Work Group's convenings this year. But we are already planning several other 2015 meetings to share our work and collect more wisdom from the broader community of DLL stakeholders. Stay tuned!
Note: This post is part of New America’s Dual Language Learner National Work Group. Click here for more information on this team’s work."