U.S. Education Official to Address Forum on English Language Learners with Special Needs

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Rosalinda B. Barrera, assistant deputy secretary and director of the Office of English Language Acquisition, will deliver opening remarks at a forum Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nev., aimed at helping English language learners with special needs achieve their education potential.

Barrera's office in partnership with the Council of the Great City Schools is hosting the forum entitled, "Improving Education for English Learners with Special Needs: Promising Practices and Current Challenges." The gathering is a precursor to the council's Bilingual, Immigrant, and Refugee Education Directors' Meeting and will bring together researchers and practitioners whose work addresses the topics of English learner education and special education. Discussion topics will center on five areas: teaching and learning, identification and placement, human capital, parental and family engagement, and policy and leadership.

Barrera is the former dean of the College of Education at Texas State University-San Marcos. In her current role, she serves as the principal adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on all matters related to the education of English Learners, now estimated to comprise about 10 percent of America's K-12 school enrollment.