Education, Media and Culture
There is no issue more central to American competitiveness than the quality of our education system. Latino students compose more of every sector of America’s schools with each passing year, underscoring the main reason that we must pay attention to the needs of Latino students: To remain the world’s economic leader in the next century, America’s schools must prepare every child for the economic opportunities of the future.
As legislators, NHCSL members work daily to direct our states’ resources and policies to meet this obligation. Yet there is so much work to be done at every level. The federal government, the states and school-based leaders must continue to evolve. We must work to build and implement effective strategies, and ensure that teachers are prepared to teach every student to their highest potential and have the support in place to secure success. We must also work to make more families fully engaged in the process.
The Education, Media and Culture Task Force covers all issues related to education such as school funding, teacher pay, educational quality, school discipline reform, standardized testing, school choice (including school vouchers, charter schools, magnet schools, virtual schools, and homeschooling), tax credits and other benefits for education, educational savings accounts, bilingual schools, Spanish language classes or schools, book purchasing for public schools, mandated curricula, pre-school (including universal pre-school), Head Start, access to higher education, hiring of Latinos in higher education, promotion of STEM education, college-prep, scholarships, financial aid, internships, improving graduation rates, and closing achievement gaps.
The Task Force also has jurisdiction over all issues related to culture and the arts, including Latino museums, artworks and cultural sites, as well as content-related aspects of media and entertainment, including the portrayals and inclusion of Hispanics in people of color in media, barriers to entry, the acting and other arts-related professions, discrimination in Hollywood, including movies and series.
Task Force Leadership 2020-2021
2018-2019 Task Force Priorities (new priorities will be determined in Spring 2020)
- Identify evidence-based exemplary ELL programs serving low-income students
- Ensure transparency of outcomes for students in ELL classes
- Recognize and share with colleagues that the majority of Hispanic children in ELL classes are U.S. citizens by birth
- Advocate going beyond the traditional debates on language instruction and focus on programmatic outcomes of improving English language proficiency among ELLs
- Increase new Title III monies and earmark these funds to be allocated to the above activities
At the state and/or local level
- Coordinate in a comprehensive manner the policy and procedures in ELL placement, reclassification, and assessment
- Require that all states assign unique identification numbers to each ELL student so that data-tracking is more effective and progress can be more easily measured
- Call for transparency in ELL placement, assessment, reclassification, and aggregate public dissemination of the data
- Increase effective teacher and staff professional development addressing the specific instructional needs/concerns of ELLs
Require objective data on the effectiveness of different instructional programs