Posts About K-3

Fall 2016 Newsletter

  ·  Sylvia Puente

Dear Friends,

As we all know, our beautiful state of Illinois is struggling and our nation is locked in a presidential debate that I believe will define the soul of our increasingly diverse, pluralistic society.  On the days, when I ask what else can  the Forum do? 

I start with going back to the facts, leveraging our electoral power, and strengthening the web of communication and relationships to find strategies and solutions. This letter provides the facts around the myths that are being perpetuated on immigration by a leading presidential candidate, and while the Forum is a non-partisan organization, we encourage you to VOTE.  Election Day... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Infant & Toddler Services , K-3, Parent Engagement, Preschool, Families & Communities, Housing, Foreclosure, Housing Education, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government, State Investment, Access & Resources, Educators

Summer 2016 Newsletter

  ·  Sylvia Puente

Dear Friends,

Despite the festivities and warmth that make this time of the year special for everyone, there’s a cloud hanging over the state brought on by the failure of government officials to pass an operating budget at the end of the state legislature’s spring session for the second straight year. 

While much of state government continues to function through court orders and consent decrees, children and families are unnecessarily suffering due to the lack of state funding for human services and higher education.  According to a recent survey conducted by the United Way of Illinois, nearly 1 million people are without services because... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Infant & Toddler Services , K-3, Parent Engagement, Preschool, Families & Communities, Housing, Foreclosure, Housing Education, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, Immigration, Immigration Reform & Policy, Immigrant Integration, Leadership, Strengthening Leadership, Representation in Government, State Investment, Access & Resources, Educators

Here are the latest updates from the Forum’s education team.

Early Childhood Education Advocacy Day

The Forum’s partners and advocates headed to the state capitol on April 20 to advocate for the fair tax amendment and early childhood education. More than 10 organizations and 72 participants made the journey to Springfield, Illinois, visiting over 20 legislators. Parents shared emotional tales of their child’s progress and offered regalitos, or small gifts, to emphasize the positive results of funding early childhood education.

See photos of parents and advocates in action here. The conversation also continued on Twitter, engaging and informing audiences citywide. Check out the conversations... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Infant & Toddler Services , Preschool, K-3, Parent Engagement, Families & Communities, Educators, Access & Resources, State Investment

Here are the latest updates from the Forum’s education team.

Abriendo Puertas:  Congratulations to Metropolitan Family Services Child Parent Centers and their 10 Parent Resource Teachers for completing the Forum’s Abriendo Puertas Facilitator Institute, February 17 to 19. Abriendo Puertas is the nation’s first evidence-based, popular education, parent leadership training program developed in Spanish by and for Latino parents with children 0-5 years of age.

The participants spend three days learning about the parent engagement curriculum and how to implement it using the Popular Education methodology.

ECE Day: Now more than ever your support for early learning services is needed to restore the... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Infant & Toddler Services , Preschool, K-3, Parent Engagement

While a “majority-minority” student population has long been a reality in Chicago, 2011 marked the first time that minority students were the majority in kindergarten, first, second, and third grade classrooms across all of Illinois. A driving force behind this demographic shift are students who come from immigrant families,  hold a range of native- and English-language abilities, and are adapting to the U.S. school system. 

The United States’ increased use of standardized testing poses significant conundrums for this emerging student population. While there is no shortage of critiques on the overall merits of standardized testing, for those on their way to learning English, the reliability, validity, and fairness of such accountability measures are especially dubious.  After being in U.S. schools... Continue Reading

Posted In: K-3, Education

The Executive Director of Chicago Foundation for Education (CFE), Amy Sheren, recently invited the Latino Policy Forum to join her in a visit to a sixth-grade classroom at Kanoon Elementary in Little Village.  The teacher, Mr. Greg Fairbank, had received a CFE grant to enhance literacy through a peer-to-peer book club targeting English Language Learners (ELLs) not reading at grade level.  I jumped at the chance to see how the education policy the Latino Policy Forum helps shape plays out in local classrooms—especially an ELL classroom, given that ELLs now represent nine percent of students in Illinois schools.  While the percentage may appear small, it has grown by nearly 25 percent since 2004 and does not account for the many students... Continue Reading

Posted In: K-3

Illinois is ahead of the curve in promoting educational reforms and supports that value early childhood education.  Relatively nascent advocacy efforts endorse a more expansive continuum approach, especially birth-to-age 8 (or third grade), to ensure that early education benefits are thoughtfully and purposefully carried over into the early grades.  Vital to such discussions are the ways in which such continuum reform efforts could benefit the state’s rapidly growing diverse language learner population.

What is perhaps most striking to me is that if children begin the transition to English before they are well-grounded in their native tongue—generally achieved around the third grade benchmark—it can actually limit their English language development.  English-only approaches (or transitions into English instruction before students have a... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, K-3
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