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The [Thursday] Papers

For real-time commentary on Donald Trump's latest travesties, John Kass, the Cubs' visit to the White House, the Miguel Montero imbroglio and the rest of the news from the last 24 hours, see @BeachwoodReport. I've been doing work over there this week.

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What's English For Illegal?
"Many bilingual programs are violating state law by failing to provide adequate services to the [Chicago public school] district's growing share of students whose native language is not English," the Chicago Reporter has found.

"Two years ago, Chicago Public Schools officials got some pointed criticism in a report the district commissioned on educating the growing percentage of schoolchildren who are English learners.

"The report noted that CPS had a long history of ignoring advice on improving its bilingual programs.

"We hope this time will be different," the 2015 report from the Council of the Great City Schools stated.

"But it wasn't. CPS officials gave a copy of the report to the mayor's office, then did nothing."

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"Chicago is just one of dozens of school districts that fail to meet the law. A Reporter analysis of recent state audits of 65 districts found that the vast majority (including CPS) failed to consistently provide children with services such as adequate help in their native language, proper classroom materials and an annual test of English proficiency.

"Yet districts rarely face sanctions that might force them to take action, such as the potential loss of state bilingual education funding."

Go read the whole thing, unless you insist on not feeling angry today.

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"Prompted by community concerns, then-State Sen. Miguel del Valle commissioned researchers to evaluate the state of education for Chicago's English learners. Del Valle had been looking into the issue for a while and wanted data he could use to push for policy changes. The reports documented a troubling shortage of bilingual teachers - nearly a third of whom were only substitutes - and also found the district transitioned thousands of students out of bilingual education too quickly.

"Yet CPS officials showed no urgency to fix the problems, researchers recall.

"They constantly talked about how this new leadership is going to change this narrative," said Erica Dávila, an associate professor of educational leadership at Lewis University, who co-authored a 2004 report for del Valle. "And obviously we've seen that really hasn't happened."

Reminder: Miguel del Valle ran for mayor in 2011, when Rahm Emanuel won his first term. He was a flawed candidate, as they all are, but far less flawed than Chuy Garcia and obviously far more preferable than Rahm. We had our chance, Chicago.

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"In 2009, U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras lifted the [district's desegregation] consent decree, ending three decades of efforts to integrate Chicago schools. The decree's bilingual education provisions, according to Kocoras, duplicated protections in state law. The ruling came despite evidence presented by DOJ lawyers in court that the district repeatedly failed to enroll English learners in bilingual education fast enough or provide them with required services.

"Shortly thereafter, district auditors stopped making routine visits to schools. Over several leadership changes, the district never prioritized the needs of English learners. And the Office of Language and Cultural Education, which oversees bilingual education, was given additional work from other departments, but no extra staff."

This is a good example of how marginalized people become and remain marginalized. Those with money and clout get audiences with people in power all the time, and have their needs addressed with urgency. Everybody else falls off the radar - if they were ever even on it.

It takes real assertive effort, then, to truly address the neediest, who have no real access to power. It takes leaders.

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"In 2015, interim CEO [Jesse] Ruiz called for the school-by-school audit, suspecting widespread non-compliance with state law.

"Since then, district officials say compliance has gotten better. 'In general, across the district I'm satisfied with the rate of progress,' said Jorge Macias, a former CPS principal who has led the Office of Language and Cultural Education for just over a year.

"But CPS gave schools until 2020 to fully comply with the law, and has no plans to withhold state or federal funds earmarked for bilingual education as long as schools demonstrate improvement.

"Meanwhile, state oversight continues to fall short. Because multiple job vacancies went unfilled this year at the Illinois State Board of Education, just four people are left to monitor dozens of districts and $80 million in state and federal funds for English learners. The state made less than half as many compliance visits to districts as it was supposed to this year."

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Pro Flag Football Is Finally Here!
Starring Michael Vick, Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson and others!

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BeachBook

The Best Hot Dog In The World Is Actually From Iceland.

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Go.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Because he typed it for her.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Had enough yet?



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Posted on June 29, 2017


MUSIC - PJ Harvey Wins Pitchfork.
TV - 24 Hours With Velocity.
POLITICS - Reminder: U.S. Health Care Sucks.
SPORTS - World Roller Derby Day.

BOOKS - Trump's True Believers.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Land After Frac Sand.


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