Monday, April 30, 2007

ELL Advocates

Dear Colleague:

Please join with us in building the Institute for Language and Education Policy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting research-based policies for educating English and heritage-language learners.

Details about our activities, founders, bylaws, and organizational structure may be viewed at http://www.elladvocates.org/. Information on how to become a member of the Institute appears below.

We believe that our mission has never been more critical. In a time of misguided “accountability” measures, high-stakes testing, cutbacks in school funding, and English-only activism, strong advocacy for children is essential. Scientific knowledge about what works -- not political ideology or expedience -- must guide public policy.

Our goals are ambitious:

– Encourage and disseminate research on education policy and practice.
– Educate the public and policymakers about the benefits of bilingual and heritage-language education for individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole.
– Represent the needs of English language learners as Congress moves to reauthorize -- and, we hope, reform -- the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
– Support grassroots efforts by local and professional organizations to secure adequate resources for quality language programs at all levels.
– Combat English-only legislation that threatens to restrict the rights and educational prospects of language-minority Americans.
– Create professional development opportunities for educational practitioners.

To succeed in these efforts, we need your help. One way is to volunteer your time and talents -- for example, by organizing meetings in your school or community, contacting members of Congress, or writing articles for our web site.

Another way is to become a member of the Institute -- just fill out and return the application below -- and provide financial support for our advocacy work. The annual membership fee is $50 for professionals, $25 for parents and full-time students. Contributions over and above those amounts are naturally welcome. Our membership form is attached below. For a Web version, please click on http://www.elladvocates.org/documents/Announcing.pdf.

Member benefits include participation in an email listserv to discuss legislative and policy developments; access to the latest research on educating English and heritage language learners; eligibility to participate in Institute elections and to serve on professional committees; and a 25% online discount on books published by Multilingual Matters. Additional benefits in the planning stage -- which we hope to provide soon -- include a monthly newsletter and online access to the new International Multilingual Research Journal.

Since incorporating as a nonprofit group last year, the Institute has signed up members in 29 states and several foreign countries, including many leaders in our field who are dedicated to advocacy for English and heritage-language learners. We urge you to join with us in this important cause.

James Crawford, President
Institute for Language and Education Policy


Institute for Language and Education Policy
P.O. Box 5960
Takoma Park, MD 20913
bilingualed@starpower.net
www.elladvocates.org
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