Posts About Education

As a member of the Advocacy Council at Women Employed, I’m pleased to introduce this guest blog by Gloria Ortiz. Through my volunteer work at Women Employed, I often get to better see how the policy changes we advocate for at The Forum overlap with the work of Women Employed, and vice versa. The topic of unfair scheduling practices is an issue that affects working women, students, families, Latinos and immigrants alike and often in intersections. Read below to learn how undocumented students can be particularly affected. –Adriana Díaz

Guest blog post by Gloria Ortiz, Policy Associate at Women Employed—a Chicago-based advocacy organization that mobilizes people and organizations to expand educational and employment opportunities for America’s working women.

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Posted In: Education

An imperative question guiding my work at the Latino Policy Forum is not if all Illinois teachers and educational leadership should be prepared to meet the spectrum of linguistic and cultural diversity in their classrooms, but how to implement plans that improve their linguistic and cultural responsiveness.  This question is motivated by two significant changes in education: newly minted intensified academic standards and a greatly changing student demographic. 

To address this issue of teacher preparedness, part of my ongoing work at the Forum involves convening a pre- and in-service teacher preparation work group to review, reflect on, and make suggestions to developing a statewide approach to fortify teacher preparation for linguistic and culturally diverse students. 

Dr. Elizabeth... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education

A vital question guiding my work at the Forum is not if all Illinois teachers and educational leaders should be prepared to meet the spectrum of linguistic and cultural diversity in their classrooms, but how to implement plans that improve their linguistic and cultural responsiveness.  This question is motivated by two significant changes in education: newly minted intensified academic standards and a greatly changing student demographic.  

The advent of the Common Core State Standards heightens the need for all students to master the academic language of the classroom.  For the growing number of English language learners (ELLs), to achieve this requires a new level of expertise for educators on how to support and integrate... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education

Babies and toddlers are on a roll! 

Our children have been scoring some exciting victories in federal policy, not to mention in Illinois and other states. 

While the recent attention and resources directed toward infants and toddlers may be unprecedented, the Latino Policy Forum and its early childhood partners have long known that supporting the learning and development of our youngest children is one of the best bets when it comes to strengthening educational outcomes.

In a report released last fall, Primeros Pasos: Strengthening Programs that Support Illinois Infants and Toddlers, the Forum made a clear case for the importance of the early years, specifically from birth-to-three.

It... Continue Reading

Posted In: Access & Resources, Educators, Education

Early Learning Advocacy DayPart of being an Illinois Early Childhood Fellow at the Latino Policy Forum means a transition from practitioner to professional advocate. As understanding the decision-making process is essential to advocacy, last October I had the opportunity to observe a hearing in the State House Elementary and Secondary Education appropriations committee.

What I learned from that experience is that with the right preparation, anyone can effectively testify at budget hearings. Open to the public, and with people as young as ten having testified, you too can do it! Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • First, know your audience. The elected officials at the table decide... Continue Reading
Posted In: Education

A big thanks to all of our Host Committee Members and Co-Chairs for supporting the Latinos of the Move policy breakfast, featuring Mayor Julián Castro. We truly appreciate all of your apoyo

Committee Co-Chairs

Clare Muñana, Ancara Associates
Martin Castro, Casro Synergies, LLC

Honorary Co-Chairs 

Hon. Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago
Hon. Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois 

Host Committee Members

Assistant Majority Leader Edward J. Acevedo, Illinois General Assembly 
Ellen Alberding, The Joyce Foundation
Representative Jaime Andrade, Illinois General Assembly
Representative Luis Arroyo, Illinois General Assembly
Mary Sue Barrett, Metropolitan Planning Council
Representative Maria (Toni) Berrios, Illinois General Assembly
John Bentacur*, University of Illinois at Chicago
John Bouman, Sargeant Shriver National Law Center... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education

As student-of-color demographics reach the “majority-minority” tipping point across the nation, building diversity within the teacher workforce has become increasingly urgent.  In response to that urgency, I’ve begun to develop a database to encourage educators and administrators to consider the myriad of ways to diversify the teacher candidate pool, provide linguistically and culturally responsive pedagogy, and offer rich field experiences in diverse settings. You can find the Teacher Diversity Database on the Latino Policy Forum’s website here.

A growing body of research shows students who have teachers from diverse cultural, ethnic and racial background stand to reap additional benefits from the experience, not just academically, but socially and emotionally as... Continue Reading

Posted In: Leadership, Education

What compelled 32 Latino-community early childhood advocates, policy analysts and service providers from all corners of the United States to board red-eye flights, high-speed trains, and caravans to Washington, D.C. in late September? After months spent drafting comments and recommendations that address the nuanced needs and priorities of Latino communities, these advocates had the opportunity to bend Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s ear and share their perspectives on and hopes for the federal early learning proposal, commonly known as Preschool for All. 

I was delighted to be one of those 32.

Convened by National Council of La Raza and attended by NCLR’s early childhood affiliates, the Department of Education’s extra-long... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Access & Resources

"[Let's] make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind," President Barack Obama said in his call to action for universal pre-K.

And as Latinos have the lowest preschool attendance rate of any group in the U.S., there's ample opportunity for the president's call to focus on boosting access for these young learners. There's also urgency: Illinois Latinos are up to six months behind their peers in cognitive measures before they even begin kindergarten, the start of a gap that develops into frustratingly low high school graduation rates. (This national report points to an eight-month gap for Mexican-American kids.)

I applaud the spirit of the federal plan to connect all American children with high-quality... Continue Reading

Posted In: Education, Access & Resources

This time last year, my hometown of Chicago was poised to make headlines across the country as Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was on the verge of one of its most tumultuous school years in recent history, kicking off with a tense teacher strike and wrapping up with the heartbreaking closure of nearly 50 community schools. The eyes of the nation were fixed on our corner of Illinois -- not just to follow the controversy, but also because as one of the country's global, diverse cities, Chicago is litmus test of educational realities across the country.

This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post. Click here for the full entry. 

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Posted In: Education
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