For the past year, District Deeds has been exposing the GROSS MISCONDUCT by the “government management disaster” of the Supt. Cindy Marten Administration as it repeatedly REMOVES AND DENIES FEDERAL AND STATE MANDATED SUPPORTS for English Language Learner (ELL) Students and Families.
Here is a link to the many ELL/ELST Postings: ELL – ELST
As you may recall, brave Stakeholder Whistleblower, Concerned ELL Teacher, previously wrote “Change this Madness!!!” on our blog that exposed the Marten ELST Removal Disaster.
We are grateful to Concerned ELL Teacher who is risking their employment and career by TELLING THE TRUTH despite the existing TOXIC SDUSD culture that PUNISHES honesty and integrity though the vindictive, retribution methods of Marten and her SDUSD Henchmen.
Here is the update from Concerned ELL Teacher:
Dear District Deeds,
I have found that DESPITE all the promises made last June when the ELST’s were removed from many schools, there is still no set plan for handling EL compliance, including the CELDT testing. This is particularly concerning at many schools that have had a shift in leadership and no one seems to know who is the point of contact at the schools, including the Area ELST! In addition, ESL teachers received their back to school letters from principals along with the teaching assignments but there are many “holes” in the staffing and scheduling with some schools eliminating 5 -6 all together. Teachers taking on these new positions are new to teaching ESL and in some cases, have no idea that the English 1/2 they are assigned to teach is actually populated with ESL 5/6 students.
At the end of last school year, the District offered ESL 3 – 4 and 5 – 6 as a summer school class. ELSTs and ESL teachers were told that at the end of the 6 week course students would be given an assessment to determine if that short 6 week course was sufficient to raise their language levels enough to progress to the next level. Often times summer school is far easier than a semester class and the students pass their summer school class with high grades, but have not REALLY reached the next level of proficiency. NO ASSESSMENT WAS GIVEN! As long as the student passed the ESL summer school class, they will be placed in the next level of English, regardless of their proficiency level. They cannot retake the ESL course since they would have already earned the credit. Also this year’s summer school, in order to “help” ELs meet the A -G requirements, were permitted to take English 3 / 4 (10th grade English) and earn 2 English credits toward graduation in just 6 weeks! Usually English 3 /4 is offeredas remediation to students who have failed. This accelerated approach does not take into account any of the research regarding second language acquisition and the amount of time (5 – 7 years) that it takes to acquire a language! ESL teachers at the trainings have continued to express concern that the students who “passed” the summer school classes will not have the necessary language skills to meet the rigor of the next level of English class. The OLA presenters have sympathized with theseconcerns, but implied that they were not in a position to really influence decisions and policy beyond sharing their concerns with the director of secondary education (Cheryl Hiblen I believe)
ESL is a 3 year program, but only schools with New Arrival Centers are actually offering it in its entirety. All other schools, according the the OLA resource teachers, offer multi level ESL, in which one teacher is responsible to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of 6 levels of ESL in one class. Additionally, most schools are only providing students with 2 years of ESL. They go from ESL 1 – 4 to ESL 5 / 6. Again, ignoring the accepted research supported evidence that it takes 5 – 7 years to learn a second language. Evidently the belief being that these students will rise to the occasion. Els are AGAIN being robbed of their right to an education based upon sound pedagogy, as required by federal mandates. In January of 2015, the US Dept. of Education in conjunction with the Civil Rights Division of the Dept. of Justice released a letter delineating the expectations of how school districts should provide for the educational needs of ELs. See the link.
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-el-201501.pdf No where does any valid research indicate that 2 years is sufficient for an adolescent to learn a second language at an academic level.
To add insult to injury, the new director of the Office of Language Acquisition, Theresa Laskowski, is relatively unknown to the ELSTs who have been working for the past 11 years with EL’s and OLA. She is however, from rumor the word on the street, a good friend of Stacy Monreal.
More SDUSD cronyism.
LATE UPDATE 9/4/15 5:00 pm PT:
The person now overseeing EL compliance is a principal on special assignment, also unfamiliar with the details of compliance. SCARY!
In spite of the dysfunctional LEADERSHIP and diminished formal ELL support in the SDUSD, I am still very much committed to the rights and needs of these students.
Concerned ELL Teacher
District Deeds wonders:
How can Supt. Cindy Marten justify the HORRIBLE transformation in support of EL students and Families in the past year?
From meetings attended and documentation acquired by District Deeds over the past year , the following EL Support transformation by the Marten Administration is true:
June 1, 2014
- 111 ELST’s supporting 28,000 Students
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 252:1
- Many schools had a dedicated ELST ON SITE
- MOST of the ELST’s had 7 years or more of EL support experience with many having over 11 years experience, in other words, from 777 to 1230 YEARS of experience to support the 28,000 EL Students
- Years of Experience/Student Percent: 1230 years – 4%; 777 years – 3%
- OLA Leadership: Established leaders with 22 years of collective LEADERSHIP experience and historical knowledge of SDUSD EL successes and failures.
September 1, 2015
- 47 ELST’s supporting 28,000 Students
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 591:1
- Very few (less than 5) School Sites have a dedicated ELST ON SITE – Typically ELST’s are given MULTIPLE School Sites to support.
- 60% of existing, experienced, credentialed ELST’s moved to a classroom position so their replacements are NOVICE ELST’s being trained by NOVICE District Resource Teachers who never worked with EL’s previously.
- Only 19 of the 47 assigned ELST’s have ANY level of previous ELST experienced
- ZERO years of experience for 28 ELST’s and and an average of 5 years of experience for the remaining 19 in other words, only 95 YEARS of experience to support the 28,000 EL Students
- Years of Experience/Student Percent: 95 years – .3%…up to 13 TIMES LESS EXPERIENCE!!!
- OLA Leadership: INEXPERIENCED CRONY of Marten with NO EL LEADERSHIP experience and no historical knowledge of SDUSD EL successes and failures.
When all is said and done, the Marten EL Plan consists of spotty EL staffing at the neediest School Sites with incomplete tracking and assessment supported by rookie “Group” ELST’s trained by Novice District EL Resource Teachers with an OLA Office led by a Marten inexperienced Crony.
THIS is the heralded Marten EL Plan that justified ripping away over 60 ELST’s from the very neediest of Schools, Students and Families and ILLEGALLY FREEZING ELL BUDGETS UNTIL JANUARY, 2015, DENYING 28,000 EL STUDENTS STATE AND FEDERAL MANDATED SUPPORTS OUTLINED IN THE SSC APPROVED, BOARD ILLEGALLY UN-APPROVED 2014/15 SPSA’S.
Just another inept, illegal and immoral day at the office for Marten and her Cronies!
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