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Denver Schools Reach Agreement on ELLs

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Denver Public Schools officials have hammered out a  modified consent decree that makes changes to how the school district’s more than 36,000 English language learners are taught.

The Denver Post reports that the agreement with the Congress of Hispanic Educators includes new changes regarding teaching training, student exit procedures and parent communication. It also orders that a study of the effectiveness of the program for teaching ELLs be completed by 2015.

The decree regarding instruction of ELLs exists because of a desegregation suit first filed in 1974, which eventually led to an agreement 10 years later on ELLs. The district has used transitional bilingual education to teach students.

EFE also reports that the new agreement will require all DPS schools to offer bilingual classes and creates a system to track student progress.

“Today we’re standing on the shoulders of people who fought a long time to guarantee students’ rights,” Kathy Escamilla, education professor at the University of Colorado, told EFE. “But unfortunately, the fight continues.”