The Coalition for English Learner Equity is a growing coalition of activists, leaders, and educators working to advance equity and justice for linguistically and culturally diverse students.
Nationally, the digital divide is greatest for students of color with 26% of Latinx students, 30% of Black students and 35% of Native American students lacking adequate internet or devices for learning at home.Source
In the last 10 years, over 30 states and districts have been found to be in violation of the civil rights of ELs to a quality education.Source
ELs graduate at a rate of 67% compared to 85% for non-ELs, as of 2015-16Source
65% of Latino families feel that learning is more difficult for their children due to communication with teachers being more difficult while schooling on-line and from home.Source
The COVID 19 pandemic exposed long-standing inequities and laid bare the true degree to which school systems are currently ill-equipped to meet the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students3 in the classroom and in outreach to families. Educators have received little guidance or resources to ensure continuity of learning. With long-term implications of COVID 19 likely to last a generation, school systems must respond in this immediate moment. Moving forward, a sustained and strategic collaboration at all levels of the school system is needed to reimagine the way linguistically and culturally diverse students are served in schools.
There are promising trends of achievement when we look at performance of linguistically and culturally diverse students no longer classified as English Learners. There is now a robust research and practice base from which practitioners can draw from to improve the system4. Yet, evidence-based practices have not yet reached the hearts and minds of educators in classrooms, schools, and districts. The conditions for linguistically and culturally diverse students to succeed and thrive in school are not yet in place.
We believe that ALL students, especially linguistically and culturally diverse students, must have:
The Coalition for English Learner Equity calls for all individuals and groups working to improve the education system for linguistically and culturally diverse students to join us in reimagining education and committing to the following based on their areas of expertise:
Join this movement by signing this Statement of Agreement.
Take a stand against racist policies and practices, examine our unconscious biases, and acknowledge the smog of racism we are socialized to ignore. We do this by:
Design curriculum and instruction with linguistically and culturally diverse students as priority users in mind and ensure their inclusion in a broad range of academic and career opportunities such as:
Reimagine partnerships with families and caregivers of linguistically and culturally diverse students based on trust, respect and valuing their experiences and histories to create authentic and transparent two-way communication
Design content-focused, student-centered, instructionally relevant, and actionable professional learning experiences for all educators to serve linguistically and culturally diverse students and recruit leaders and educators who themselves are linguistically and culturally diverse
Showcase practices and strategies to serve students and their families that demonstrate excellence and value the linguistic and cultural assets they have in the classroom and beyond by:
Collaborate and tap into the rich expertise of this coalition to advocate, research, design, and implement policies and practices that advance equity and justice for linguistically and culturally diverse students
Aída Walqui, Ph.D
Lily Wong Fillmore
Jerome Hutto Professor of Education Emerita, University of California at Berkeley
Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education Stanford University
Research Professor and Co-Director of Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles
Mathematics Education University of California, Santa Cruz
Professor Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School of Education
Migration Policy Institute