There are a few reports that have recently come out about Massachusetts on of Bilingual English Learners with Disabilities coming out from education agencies and educational organizations that address specifically the needs of bilingual English learners. Some of the key points in all this reports include:
- Understanding the populations of students who are multilingual and bilingual and who are also learning English
- Guidance on Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and how bilingual/ multi -ingual English Learners
- Position on how eligibility for special education can be evaluated for bilingual/ multi-lingual English Learners
- Examples and videos from the field that capitalized on pockets of excellence
Guidance from Support for English Learners with Disabilities (2019) Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Assessment of English Learners with Disabilities, TESOL International
English Learners in Massachusetts (2018) Migration Policy Institute
Professor Claudia Rinaldi is the Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Her areas of research are the implementation of the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework in urban settings with English learners, teacher education in bilingual special education, and diversifying the teacher pipeline. Claudia has authored peer-reviewed publications and a book for educators called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers. She lead and developed a graduate certificate program in Teaching Bilingual Students with Disabilities for general, ESL and special education teachers geared towards applying research-informed practices to the questions and processes of identifying whether it is a language difference or a learning disability. Claudia developed a college mentoring program called Pathways to Teacher Diversity for districts and teacher education programs to partner in identifying and supporting underrepresented high school students interested in teaching careers to successfully access and persist in college. She serves in various boards including the National Center for Learning Disabilities and serves as an expert for Understood.org and the National Center for Intensive Interventions.
Professor Claudia Rinaldi believes that it is critical to prepare teacher leaders who may serve as advocates and allies and who will respond to the belief that all students can learn and succeed beyond barriers like culture, language, disability poverty, and marginalization in our country and globally.