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Maryland district uses Rosetta Stone language solutions to boost literacy proficiency among ELLs

More than 14.5 percent of the population of Maryland’s Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is comprised of students categorized as Limited English Proficient.

Rosetta Stone

English-language learners now comprise more than five percent of Cincinnati’s school population—which has grown more than 500 percent in the past five years.

For the 2007-08 school year, Deborah Cody, world language liaison for Pueblo City Schools in southern Colorado, was presented with a very good problem to solve.

“We set up new 30-station computer labs in our high schools and middle schools, and needed programs students could work on in them,” she says.

This software aims to remediate the underlying difficulties that keep struggling readers and English-language learners from making progress. Fast ForWord starts with cognitive skills such as memory, attention and processing speed, and works from the bottom up using the principles of neuroplasticity.

Superintendent Jesse L. Jackson has made communicating with ESL parents a priority at Lake Wales Charter Schools in Florida.

Lake Wales Charter Schools, an entire K12 charter district in central Florida, is the only charter local educational agency (LEA) in the state. As an LEA, the Lake Wales system functions as its own public school district, retaining administrative and financial control.

Daniela Pelaez, DREAM Act

Daniela Pelaez is the valedictorian of the north Miami (Fla.) Senior High School’s class of 2012. Pelaez, who was offered scholarships to numerous universities, ultimately chose to attend Dartmouth College in the fall. Although the world was seemingly at her fingertips, Pelaez faced deportation in March because she had been brought to the United States from Colombia illegally by her parents at the age of 4. After a series of student protests and pleas from educators and legislators, Pelaez was offered a two-year reprieve and will work on her case to get a visa while at Dartmouth.


The Rio Grande City Consolidated (Texas) Independent School District is located in Starr County, a poverty-stricken area that has a history of high death rates from diabetes. Located on the Mexican border, RGCCISD serves a 99 percent Hispanic population on 14 campuses. Of the nearly 10,800 students, 88 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. On top of that, Texas is ranked worst in the nation for health care coverage, with 26 percent of residents lacking insurance.

The Turnaround Mindset: Aligning Leadership for Student Success

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As the incoming New York City schools chancellor was gearing up to take office, a state senator suggested in December that Chancellor Cathie Black consider establishing an immigrant school in Queens to solve overcrowding in nearby Newtown High School, which is also on the state’s persistently lowest-achieving school list. “With immigrant English-language learners who would otherwise attend Newtown receiving the intensive language- development help they need in a different setting, Newtown could provide more individualized and direct services to students,” Sen.

In districts with Hispanic populations, English language learning is a priority, particularly in the elementary grades, which many students enter still speaking Spanish as their primary language. In affiliation with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a private, non-profit organization focused on reducing poverty and discrimination and improving opportunity for Hispanic Americans, about 100 community-based charter schools serve districts like these across the United States.