The many benefits of learning in a child's native language

Thanks to the Sun-Times for publicizing one of the most important but least-known findings in education, just confirmed by the University of Chicago’s Consortium on School Research, in the recent editorial “When Chicago schools meet immigrant families halfway, kids learn”.

As reported, the Chicago research showed that development of the child’s first language means better English and better school performance in general...

Challenging conventional wisdom, report finds promising academic performance in Chicago's growing English learner population

For years, the academic performance of English learners in Chicago has looked grim, with research showing they lag far behind students who entered school as native English speakers. But a new report calls into question that conventional wisdom.

English learners aren’t lagging behind their peers in school, study finds

Educators and policymakers have long thought that children who entered school still learning English lagged behind their fellow students—an idea backed by years of data.

But according to new research from the University of Chicago, many English learners eventually match, or even exceed, the academic achievements of their peers...

Bilingual education programs in Chicago schools are paying off, according to new study

Chicago Public Schools students who aren’t proficient in English when they enter kindergarten tend to have better attendance and in some cases higher test scores than their peers who are native English speakers, according to a new study by the University of Chicago.

Researchers and officials in CPS, where about a third of students are identified as English learners at some point during their schooling, said the findings should help dispel misconceptions that children in English learning programs are less likely to succeed academically than their peers...


Chicago’s recipe for EL success includes providing an early intervention platform that features professional development, tutoring and its new Curriculum Equity Initiative, which focuses on ensuring that teachers have standards-aligned materials that are "free from bias; fair across race, religion, ethnicity and gender, and culturally relevant."

Bucking misconceptions, many English language learners in Chicago keeping pace with fluent English speakers

Wilma Milagros David knows that her bilingual students at Sandoval Elementary in Gage Park are working hard. As principal she sees them at school, improving in math or focusing on work even when they may be tired or have trouble at home. 

But the progress David sees her students make hasn’t always shown up in the research about bilingual students...

Madison West High School tries new equation to boost GPA

Freshmen students at Madison high schools won’t receive any grade lower than 40 percent in some of their classes as part of a new grading system meant to improve students' GPA.

The practice diverts from the norm in most classes, where students are graded on a 100-point scale and anything lower than 60 is failing. But that system makes it more difficult for students to move from a failing grade to a passing grade, said Karen Boran, principal at Madison West High School...

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