Quality Teaching for English Learners works with educators to make a positive difference in high-priority schools serving adolescent English learners. Strong partnerships are key to the success of professional development that is sustained, comprehensive, and of the highest quality. Our partners include such diverse institutions as the largest school district in the nation and a middle school serving students in an agricultural community. We also collaborate with universities nationally and internationally, sharing our research as well as learning from the research of others.
Pedagogical Transformation Brings Newcomer English Learner Success at the International Newcomer Academy
The International Newcomer Academy (INA) is an English language immersion middle and high school for newly arrived non-English speaking immigrants, refugees, and political asylees in Fort Worth, Texas. Students arrive with a rich variety of resources: they hail from approximately 35 countries, speak more than twenty world languages, and bring an enthusiastic outlook to learning. They also have obstacles to overcome, however. Some students may be overage, have no or interrupted formal schooling, and/or come from nations mired in poverty or war. Yet, within one year (two for those who are preliterate), INA students must be able to read, write, and speak enough English to succeed at their neighborhood schools.
Supporting Teacher Development for Student Success at Daggett Middle School
The school principal is a key figure in school transformation—as educational scholar Michael Fullan notes, “Principals’ actions serve to legitimate whether a change is taken seriously.” With the 2014-2015 school year on the horizon, Daggett Middle School principal Cynthia Miles-Brown was showing her teachers that she was very committed to leading and supporting Daggett’s pedagogical change efforts. She was writing her first QTEL lesson, which would be used for the year’s first professional development.
Students Reach for the Stars in Math with Holly Delaney
Holly Delaney teaches mathematics for a range of beginning and intermediate English language learners (ELLs) in grades 6, 7, and 8 at the Edison K-8 school in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area. She has been participating in QTEL professional development since January of 2013, when she attended sessions for mathematics teachers. This past year, she has taken part in QTEL’s coaching professional development, learning how to support disciplinary teachers in infusing principles of quality teaching for ELLs in their lessons.
Achievement Soars at Daggett Middle School
In the fall of 2010, QTEL embarked on an intensive, three-year partnership with Daggett Middle School in Fort Worth, Texas, a school serving approximately 400 students in grades 6-8. At Daggett, nearly ninety percent of its student body is economically disadvantaged, and one-third of its students are categorized as English language learners (ELLs). The multi-layered professional development effort focused on developing teacher expertise to provide “high challenge, high support” instruction for ELL and other language minority students, as well as building leadership capacity to support that instruction.
QTEL’s work with Lanier High School in Austin was instrumental in turning around a school that had been called academically “unacceptable.” QTEL’s focus on high expectations, academic rigor, and the pedagogical supports that boost student engagement resulted in solid increases in students’ academic achievement, with English language learners making the largest gains.