Illinois wrestles with how to get more English learners prepared to enter kindergarten
With data showing particularly low rates of kindergarten readiness among Illinois’ English language learners, some advocates are zeroing in on a particular problem: They say that too many schools lack the linguistic capacity to measure their incoming students and thus may miss signs of children’s capabilities.
Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro, manager of education policy and research at the Latino Policy Forum, highlighted a potential explanation: a lack of bilingual teachers.
“You might have kids that are expressing something in their home language or in both the home language and English, and it might be difficult for a lot of teachers who don’t speak that language to capture that information,” she said. “I really think [the data] speaks more to our bilingual teacher shortage.”