New York – The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released joint guidance on January 7, 2015, reminding states, school districts, and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English Learners (ELs) have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential, according to the English Learner Toolkit. A s “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) was designed to help state and local education agencies support the attainment of English language proficiency while meeting college-and career-readiness standards. The explanations of Civil Rights and Legal obligations were laid out to aid schools with compliance and additional resources about English Language at the readers convenience for free via the internet. However, now that COVID-19 has impacted a war on America, what will happen to the children and English Language Learners at home during a “Stay In Home Order” driven society of social distancing and empty restaurants? How will a parent obtain accurate information about Home Language Surveys if the parent is now the teacher? Who will determine Legal Status or immigration status if the parents are bilingual?
Now that Apple Computers are free via Citywide in the State of New York, and I am every other State Nationally, who will assess the English Language Program tests for the proficiency of students in all four language domains (i.e., speaking, listening, reading, and writing)? What about the assessments that evaluate speaking, listening, pre-reading, and pre-writing for entering kindergarten students with a primary or home language other than English? Home language is critical along with needed written language at home. How do you sue for COVID-19 if your child is destroyed? What is going to happen to the school bus tomorrow for the English Language Learner under Federal Law?