Last week the State Education Department (SED) released its draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. In the draft (page 133), SED commits to creating official engagement guidelines with an emphasis on engaging parents and families of students identified as English Language Learners (ELLs)/Multilingual Learners (MLLs), immigrant, migrant and homeless. The plan also includes a commitment to support schools and districts with engaging all cultures of school communities. Furthermore, it outlines effective engagement practices related to immigrant, ELL/MLL, migrant and homeless parents and families. The New York Immigration Coalition is a member of the State’s ESSA Think Tank that has provided input into the plan draft. This action has followed a number of SED initiatives to support ELL/MLL and immigrant students, including, among others: the Blueprint for ELL Success, ELL Parents’ Bill of Rights, recent steps to identify and address the needs of very young ELLs, and recent guidance together with A.G. Schneiderman reminding districts to uphold key protections for immigrant students.
Following is a statement from Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition:
“We applaud Chancellor Rosa, Commissioner Elia and State Education Department for recognizing the critical importance of engaging immigrant families in the State’s draft plan. There has never been a more important time to help schools and districts effectively work together with parents to support our immigrant and ELL/MLL students. We truly appreciate SED incorporating our community’s input and salute them for continuing to lead the way. The NYIC is continuing to review and analyze the broader plan, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with SED in support of New York’s immigrant students and families.”