NYSEDStandards, standards, everywhere! DSF Consulting is lending its team’s expertise on standards for ELs and their teachers in several ways across the country – and now the world!

New York State Education Department/American Institutes for Research

DSF Consulting is pleased to announce that in July 2013 we partnered with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to scaffold New York State’s Common Core curriculum in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for English learners in grades P-12. As part of the year-long project, we will review curricular modules that multiple vendors have produced for NYSED, provide feedback for scaffolding the curricular units for ELs, create prototypes of effective curricular materials and formative assessments for ELs, provide feedback on professional development materials, and create teacher resource guides for ELA and Mathematics. DSF Consulting is in the process of obtaining certification as a woman owned small business in New York State.

Illinois State Board of Education

ISBEDSF Consulting is now supporting the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in creating standards for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) for their teacher candidates in the areas of bilingual, English as a Second Language (ESL), and general education (K-12). ISBE requested and is receiving technical assistance from its federally-funded regional comprehensive center – the Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) at the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

With MWCC, DSF Consulting is providing technical assistance in bringing together stakeholders, participating in stakeholder meetings to create the standards, providing comments, edits, and reviewing standards developed by the stakeholder groups. DSF will also ensure the new standards are aligned to NCATE/TESOL framework, contribute to the drafting of the final set of standards, and write a preface for the standards. DSF will also contribute to the development of competencies based on the standards and advise on other requirements based on promising, evidence-based practices that may be recommended for ESL/Bilingual/General Education certification in the State of Illinois.

Peace Corps

DSF Consulting has made significant progress with our support of the Peace Corps’ certificate in TEFL this month. We have been conducting informational meetings with potential partners for the TEFL Certificate Program and have determined a list of key partner responsibilities and benefits. The scope of work for the Peace Corps’ upcoming RFP release is nearly complete. We have also been restructuring the Peace Corps’ TEFL Program professional standards and performance indicators, developing performance-based rubrics for the standards, and writing a literature review that under-girds the standards. Next month we will focus on creating assessments to be used in three pilot Peace Corps TEFL posts around the world.

Professional Development with the American Federation of Teachers

Ayanna and Diane designed professional development for AFT’s TEACH conference on teacher evaluation systems that are inclusive of ELs. At the AFT TEACH mini institute, Ayanna co-facilitated 1.5 days of professional development for over thirty educators from states including Texas, Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Florida. Participants were presented with instructional practice “Look Fors” and resources that would support general education teachers of ELs and students wtih disabilities before, during and after a performance-based teacher observation. Topics included the use of data to support instruction, co-teaching and collaboration, and information about various program models for ELs and SWDs.

Professional Development Delivery in Georgia and Massachusetts

Ayanna designed and facilitated two professional development sessions for an elementary school in south Georgia. The first session focused on the WIDA standards and building academic language.  The second session focused on interpreting English language proficiency data and how to use that data to inform instructional practices. Ayanna also taught two online graduate level courses titled Sheltering Instruction for English language learners for Bridgewater State University (MA).

Networking with the Northern NY Regional ESL Collective

Diane met with several dedicated teachers and administrators from the Northern Regional ESL Collective in Skaneateles, NY. This grassroots learning community represents ESL educators from around the Central and Northern NY region, including the Syracuse, Watertown, and Oswego areas. It was an interesting experience to learn about the EL population, including low incidence, refugee, migrant students and areas which have had explosive EL student growth in the past few years. We hope to continue to collaborate with this group during our NYSED scaffolding project.

Keynote at Georgia TESOL Conference (GATESOL)

Diane confirmed she will be a plenary speaker at the Georgia TESOL Conference in October. She will be presenting about advocating for English learners and using strategies for them so they can access the Common Core State Standards. She will also sign her new book Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators (Corwin Press, 2013) at the GATESOL conference.