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Building on the Common Core State Standards to Improve Learning for English Language Learners


Kenji Hakuta, Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education, Stanford University
Mariana Haynes, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education
Carrie Heath Phillips, Program Director, Common Core State Standards Implementation,
Council of Chief State School Officers
Susan Pimentel, Education Analyst and Standards and Curriculum Specialist
Maria Santos, Deputy Superintendent for Instruction, Leadership and Equity-in-Action,
Oakland Unified School District (California)

The Alliance for Excellent Education held a webinar on the transition to Common Core State Standards and Next-Generation Science Standards presents both opportunities and challenges for the growing number of English language learners. A number of initiatives are underway to help English learners access grade-level content while building their language proficiency. Stanford University launched a two-year initiative—Understanding Language—to look at the language demands contained in the new standards. The Council of Chief State School Officers recently developed the Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards to help states understand the sophisticated language competencies English language learners will need to perform in an academic area.

Kenji Hakuta and Maria Santos, cochairs of the Understanding Language initiative, and Susan Pimentel andCarrie Heath Phillips, developers of the Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards, discussed these efforts and their respective accomplishments to date along with state and district actions needed to support English learners’ language and content learning. Mariana Haynes, senior fellow at the Alliance, moderated the discussion.

Supplemental Material

This webinar is made possible with support from

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit

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