Over the last decade, the number of English language learners (ELLs) enrolled in public schools throughout the United States has risen by an astounding 60.76% (NCELA, 2007). Along with this dramatic growth has come an increase in the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and educational experiences of ELLs. Some ELLs arrive having had a rigorous formal education in their native country, while others arrive having had limited or interrupted access to formal schooling. In addition, while ELLs are mostly concentrated in urban areas, many ELLs and their families have been moving into more suburban or rural districts. At the same time, most teachers and schools have not been adequately prepared to successfully educate these students or work with their families.
As an organization whose mission of equity and excellence is founded on the belief that language, culture, and diversity are fundamental to the success of education reform, The Education Alliance is working with states, districts, schools, and teachers to ensure that all ELLs have access to an equitable and excellent education. Our nationally recognized specialists in ELL education do this by specifically addressing the following areas related to improving ELL performance: