Strand of Culturally Responsive Assessment for Bilingual English Learners
Last week esteemed colleague leaders in this field collaborated to run the 3.5-hour strand on the topic. The strand started with m presentation on the current state and practices on teachers working with bilingual English learners and why every educator needs to learn more. For example, did you know that bilingual English learners are 3.5 times more likely to be referred to special education? Did you also know that some districts establish a “wait to refer” rule which violates current education law while other districts encourage referral to special education in order to increase services (also a poor practice that can increase the percentage of English learners in special education. We had five leaders presenting and here are there summaries:
Dr. Julie Esparza Brown highlighted the need to compare the progress in English and academics with that of a “true peer” rather than comparing bilingual English Learners to average English only students. Her presentation showcase two case studies to show which one would be the one to correctly refer for special education and which one tells us whether core /general instruction is actually providing access to all students, including bilingual English learners.
I also presented my Special Education Referral Evaluation Checklist for English Learners to help educators ensure that educators and SEAs check key aspects of the pre-referral and referral process to make sure the right bilingual students are referred to special education.
Please visit the PADLET to see everyone’s presentations and resources.
Claudia is the Endowed Joan Wieler Arno 49 Professor at Lasell University. She is currently a full professor of education and chair of the Education Program. Claudia has been a teacher, researcher, consultant, and professor of special education.