Ed. Department Focus on English-Learners Seen Waning
A diminished clearinghouse, a leaderless office, and a department reshuffling have advocates worried
As the number of English learners continues to grow faster than that of any other group in the nation's public schools, concerns are mounting that the distinctive needs of those students and the educators who work with them are receiving diminishing attention from the U.S. Department of Education.
Even as the federal government spends roughly $750 million a year to help educate a population that's grown to be one out of every 10 students, the department's office of English-language acquisition , or OELA, has seen its clout steadily shrink.
In mid-October, the office lost its director, Rosalinda B. Barrera, who was appointed in August 2010 and became the first permanent political appointee in that post since 2008. The department did not publicize her departure, and no one has been...
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