New report on English Language Learner (ELL) saga released
March 12, 2013
Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center and Arizona Indicators today released a new report on English Language Learner (ELL) programs in Arizona, which last year saw the 20th anniversary of Flores v. Arizona, the original lawsuit regarding English learners in Arizona.
“The report is both comprehensive and timely, with ELL-related discussions presently taking place in the Legislature that would remove ELL from the throes of political ideologies and return oversight to the State Board of Education,” said Joseph Garcia, director of the Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center.
Dr. Oscar Jiménez-Castellanos of Arizona State University and Dr. Mary Carol Combs of the University of Arizona are chief authors of the report, English Language Learners: What’s at Stake for Arizona?
Jiménez-Castellanos, an assistant professor in ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, is co-editor of the Association of Mexican-American Educators (AMAE) Journal and a 2012-13 Ford Post-Doctoral Fellow.
Combs is an associate lecturer in the UA Department of Language, Reading and Culture who teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in bilingual education law and policy, ESL methods and multicultural education.
The 16-page report notes:
“The task of providing efficient and effective English Language Learner (ELL) programs in Arizona remains unresolved. There are many complexities and challenges facing Arizona’s ELL programs, which historically have been plagued by inadequate funding, uneven oversight and political wrangling – all of which have led to continual court battles. … (A)t a time when it’s becoming increasingly difficult and crucial for the state to compete regionally and internationally in the new global economy, Arizona is missing its opportunity to generate a highly educated workforce through proper funding and administration of ELL programs. In fact, there is a growing achievement gap between ELL students in Arizona and the national average.”
What’s at stake, the report notes, is no less than the state’s future economic, health, social and education standing because “policies that affect ELL students impact all Arizonans.”
Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy was launched last October with a mission to provide a better understanding of how Latino public policy issues affect all of Arizona and our shared future opportunity. Its website can be found at MorrisonInstitute.asu.edu/Latinos
Arizona Indicators is an online data project managed by Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Its website can be found at ArizonaIndicators.org
Established in 1982, Morrison Institute for Public Policy is a leader in examining critical Arizona and regional issues, and is a catalyst for public dialogue. An Arizona State University resource, Morrison Institute uses nonpartisan research and communication outreach to help improve the state’s quality of life.