EdisonLearning to Convene Education Scholars For English Language Learners Curriculum Design, Citing Data from Latino Equity Report

February 24, 2009

University of Notre Dame Study States Negative Impact on U.S. Economy Due to Low Latino Education Achievement Levels

NEW YORK, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ — To ensure an expansion of the U.S. economy and to better serve the rapidly growing population of English Language Learners (ELL), EdisonLearning will host a symposium designed to explore successful approaches and address achievement gap challenges — Symposium: ELL-How Students Learn to Achieve — in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 26.

EdisonLearning, the nation’s largest partner to public school districts, is convening nationally recognized academics including Dr. Robert Jimenez, Professor of Language, Literacy and Culture, Peabody College of Education at Vanderbilt University; and Dr. Eugene Garcia, Vice President for Education Partnerships at Arizona State University, as well as local Clark County educators. The discussion will build upon current data and research on best practices to help realize the enormous potential contribution of Latinos to the nation’s communities.

EdisonLearning has been partnering with Nevada’s Clark County School District since 2001, and is currently providing education services in 6 elementary schools. Seventy-eight percent of the students in these 6 schools are classified ELL.

EdisonLearning sponsored the comprehensive study conducted by the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame which led to the creation of a comprehensive web-based index. “Latino Education Equity: A Web-Based Index and a Compendium of Best Practices in Latino Education in the United States” highlights the significant role Latinos play in the economic future of the United States.

“Through our partnership with Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, we have uncovered rich findings that can inform our work with English Language Learners in Las Vegas and across the United States,” said EdisonLearning Chief Education Officer Dr. Joseph Wise. “Using the research as our guide, we are bringing together local educators to put ideas into action among the growing ELL population, to build a stronger workforce of tomorrow.”

Using educational achievement as one of the most significant predictors of a worker’s future lifetime earning and career potential, the “Latino Education Equity” Report reviews the implications for the U.S. workforce if schools continue to under-serve the Latino population.

“Latinos are the fastest growing segment of this nation’s population, and major gaps in educational achievement seriously limit the life prospects and future earnings potential of Latinos,” said Dr. Gilberto Cardenas, Director for the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. “Unless progress is greatly accelerated in narrowing these gaps, the enormous potential contribution of Latino’s to the nation’s economic and cultural life will not be realized to its full potential,” Dr. Cardenas added.

The Latino Educational Equity report identified three key issues as fundamental to better serving the Latino population.

First, educators and policymakers must address the dearth of appropriate teacher education coursework and programs in institutions of higher education.

Second, low levels of parental education and lack of support from parents, teachers, and the community are key contributors to high dropout rates among Latinos. Though the dropout rate fell from 21.6% to 21% from 1990 to 2000, Latino youth educated in the United States are about twice as likely to drop out of high school as their white peers. Pointing to potential progress, the report notes a significant increase in community-centered approaches to engaging Latinos in education.

Finally, Latino students need work-readiness skills. By endowing students with work-readiness skills, schools can help Latino students to overcome the social and cultural barriers that obstruct Latinos from higher paying skilled jobs. Community colleges are singled out as institutions that can play an important role in this area.

Symposium: ELL-How Students Learn to Achieve is open to the media. The program will be held at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort, 221 North Rampart Blvd. in Las Vegas. The session begins at 8:30 a.m., and Dr. Jimenez and Dr. Garcia will make their presentations from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event concludes at 3:30 p.m.

EdisonLearning is the nation’s leading public school innovator and partner for school districts and charter schools serving more than 350,000 children in 24 states. We work with school leaders and communities to provide solutions that inspire students to think, learn, and succeed – and prepare them to meet their full potential and the expectations of the 21st century workplace.

SOURCE EdisonLearning

Source: newswire

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