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Blow Open the Horizons

By Megan Hoel Dec. 7, 2016

Our new President and CEO, Dale Erquiaga, was recently featured in Latino magazine discussing the importance of ESSA on English Language Learners and graduation rates.

"While the overall high school graudation rate in this country has reached a record 83 percent, ELLs fall short of that benchmark by a full 20 points, at just 62.6 percent. In fact, of all the major student subgroups (Hispanics, black, low-income, students with disabilities), ELLs rank dead last on graduation rates," said Erquiaga.

"About 43 percent of our students are Latino, and many of those are native Spanish speakers. For these kids, wraparound services offered in the school setting can make all the difference, because their parents so often lack the language skills (or in some cases the documentation) to access social services offered by government agencies.”

“Under the new federal education law known as ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act), low-performing schools may use federal dollars for wraparound services—but they may also use that money for lots of other improvement strategies, such as computer labs or advanced placement courses. Those strategies are fine, but they are not especially helpful for English language learners. That’s why I encourage readers to reach out to state and local education leaders right now and urge them to adopt wraparound services as their school improvement strategy for the 2017-2018 school year.  Plans are being developed now, so there is a genuine urgency.”

Read more from Dale here.