Los Angeles School Board Approves English Learner Master Plan

LOS ANGELES (June 13, 2012) - The Board of Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District voted 6-0 Tuesday in favor of an English Learner Master Plan, which values teaching the strong cultural heritage of many ethnic and linguistic groups that live in Los Angeles.

“Our goal is to build on that rich heritage and expand upon it to ensure that our students have the tools they need to achieve their dreams,” said Superintendent John Deasy.

Board President Mónica García added: “We believe that all students can master the language of school, the language of college and career readiness, and ultimately the language of power. The new master plan gives us the opportunity to use instruction and support to encourage students to acquire proficiency in multiple languages as part of their preparation for colleges and careers.”

“I was an English Learner when I started school, so implementing a comprehensive EL Master Plan is personal for me,” said Board Member Nury Martinez. “I know first-hand how important it is for students, who are just learning English to have the personalized support and resources that they need to be successful. This plan is a bold measure to reduce the significant achievement gap we face within LAUSD.”

“I am extremely proud of the work of our parents, teachers, and leadership team,” said Board Member Steven Zimmer, “which has resulted in the most comprehensive plan in the nation to meet the needs of English learners.”
Along those lines, the plan endorses teaching practices and strategies that respect, affirm, and build upon the language and culture of each child. It also reaffirms that English Learners—the largest such population in the U.S. — are held to the same high expectations of learning for all District students.

The plan outlines a practical guide for how administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and parents to ensure consistent services are provided to every student trying to become fluent in English. It focuses on systems, policies, and processes related to the teaching of English and academic content to speakers of other languages.

The document took about 14 months to create by the Master Plan Planning Committee, which included parents, teachers, school principals and others, and includes suggestions from the public. The plan is based upon six principals. Those are:

• English learners are held to the same high expectations of learning established for all students.
• English learners develop full receptive and productive proficiencies in English in the domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing consistent with expectations for all students.
• English learners are taught challenging academic content that enables them to meet performance standards in all content areas.
• English learners receive instruction that builds on their previous education and cognitive abilities.
• English learners are evaluated with appropriate and valid assessments that are aligned to state and local standards and that take into account the language development stages and cultural backgrounds of the students.
• The academic success of English learners is a responsibility shared by all educators, the family and the community.

Click the link below to read the English Learner Master Plan: