Coping With ‘Sea Change’ in Chicago Suburbs

Catalyst Chicago looks at the curriculum and budget challenges arising from an ELL boom in the city’s suburbs:

Since 2005, a quarter of suburban school districts have seen their numbers of English-language learners double. In Plainfield School District 202, they have tripled.

Suburban districts are trying out different strategies, with varying degrees of success, to help these students become proficient in English and also teach higher-level academic content. Plainfield School District 202, for example, still hasn’t trained all of its teachers in its middle-grades strategy. And many districts still have difficulty finding certified bilingual teachers, although the long-standing statewide shortage has eased in recent years.

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