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English language learners expected to follow the CCSS

While students are primarily expected to speak English in classrooms across the country, the same is not necessarily true in their homes, where English may not be their first language. In California, for instance, approximately 1.4 million English language learners were enrolled in public schools across the state during the 2010-2011 academic year. For roughly 82.7 percent of them, Spanish was their first language.

Once California finishes implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) during the 2014-2015 academic year, all students – no matter what their first language may be – will be learning according to the CCSS.

Special considerations for English language learners
While students who did not grow up speaking English may be at a disadvantage when introduced to the rigorous Common Core, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers - the entities that oversaw the creation of the CCSS - believe that all individuals should be held to the same educational standards, according to the CCSS' website.

At the same time, it is understood that English language learners may require additional instructional support and time to get a grasp on subjects covered at school.

English language learners' families can learn what to expect from the CCSS
As many teachers are still getting a handle on the State Standards and what they can expect from them, it is understandable that the parents of English language learners might not know what to expect from the Common Core. In an effort to educate, the Alliance for a Better Community (ABC) recently hosted a Latinos in Education Summit in Los Angeles. More than 400 parents, students, community leaders and other members of the general public came together at the event to see what impact the Common Core will have on kindergartners through eighth-graders who also happen to be English language learners.

Over the course of the Summit, panelists discussed such topics as early learning and college and career readiness. State Senator Alex Padilla and Angelica Solis, ABC's executive director, were among those in attendance at the event.

"Through this speaker series we want to engage the community in issues of critical importance to their success," Solis said. "We know that a well-informed community will advocate and vote on issues that will improve education outcomes for their children, and their future."