California's Gold | An Advocacy Framework for Young Dual Language Learners

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Build an Aligned PreK-3 System

The North Star

The preschool and TK-12 education systems actively acknowledge and resource a PreK-3 system and framework that recognize the uniqueness of early childhood development and the demographic diversity of California’s young child population.

Why This Matters

Dual language learners are a large and growing part of the young child population in California. An aligned system of early education and TK-12 can create the necessary conditions to simultaneously nurture a child's home language and English language development. This in turn will benefit our state, our communities and the children themselves.

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HSF-1647_Digital Illustrations_Header Images_v02_An Aligned PreK-3 System

Near-Term Opportunities

  • DEEPEN the public narrative around DLLs in early childhood education.
    • INCORPORATE dual language development in the public discourse about effectiveness.

    • DEVELOP a stronger policy position about the kinds of information the state needs to collect and for what purposes.

  • LEVERAGE existing policies to support PreK-3 alignment.
    • PROMOTE through county offices of education and local school districts, LCFF opportunities focused on alignment between PreK and TK/K.

  • SUPPORT evaluation to expand evidence base for PreK-3 alignment for DLLs.
    • EVALUATE models of early learning that have a focus on integration and alignment across PreK-3.

    • ENGAGE and support diverse families.

    • EXPAND and strengthen comprehensive models that engage the full early childhood education sector.

    • HOLD districts accountable for using ESSA Title 1 and LCFF funds to meaningfully engage families of DLLs .

    • ADVOCATE for districts, county offices of education, and the state to adopt stronger language access policies to make systematic translation and interpretation services available to parents.

    • SUPPORT advocacy and organizing among parents to ensure proper uptake of Proposition 58 and school climates embracing linguistic and cultural diversity.

  • ESTABLISH statewide data systems and improve data collection.
    • ENSURE throughout the state a common method of data collection and link to curriculum and instruction.

    • ADVOCATE with the State Board of Education for separating English learners from reclassified English proficient students within the longitudinal data system so that proportionate attention and resources are given where needed.

    • EXPLORE the feasibility of linking CALPADS to existing Early Childhood Education (ECE) data systems.

  • ENGAGE teacher unions and other stakeholders.
    • SUPPORT dialogue with teachers unions, chambers of commerce, superintendents, and family engagement groups about the importance of PreK-3 alignment specifically for DLLs .

    • INVOLVE and inform non-early childhood, language-focused groups (e.g., the National Language Policy Institute and the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages) about the importance of the PreK-3 continuum for dual language learners.

Key Areas for Action

California’s Gold elevates four areas for action that are critical to a high-quality PreK-3rd grade system. If attended to, these areas could significantly advance the education of DLLs and strengthen the state's early learning system.
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    Workforce Development
    A strong workforce of teachers and administrators responsive to the unique learning needs of DLLs.
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  • HSF-1647_Key Factor Icons_Final_Curriculum & Instruction copy
    Curriculum & Instruction
    Curricular and instructional models and resources attuned to the diverse learning needs of DLLs.
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  • HSF-1647_Key Factor Icons_Final
    Assessment approaches that more accurately depict and measure how DLLs are learning.
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  • HSF-1647_Key Factor Icons_Final
    An Aligned PreK-3 System
    An integrated early childhood and TK-12 system that recognizes the importance of continuity and coherence with the early childhood period and that meets the needs of DLLs.
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