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Abstract

Recognizing that much of the leadership in resolving the issues of quality and equity for English Language Learners (ELLs) will fall to teachers themselves, Bank Street's Bilingual/ESL Teacher Leadership Academy (BETLA) has taken on the mission of preparing teachers of ELLs for the intense and unique leadership challenges they will face. Our study of the narrative accounts of nine BETLA teacher leaders was designed to give voice to teachers who have often been silenced and to speak to the positive relevance of teacher leaders in today's schools.

Author Biography

Lillian Hernandez, EdD served as the executive director of the Office of Bilingual Education, among various supervisory positions held during her 28 years in the New York City school system. She helped design the Bilingual/ESL Teacher Leadership Academy (BETLA) at Bank Street College of Education, and was its coordinator for its first six years. She has served as an adjunct instructor at Baruch College, Lehman College, Bank Street College of Education, and Teachers College. She directed a project at the CUNY Graduate Center that addressed issues related to institutionalized racism in the public schools and served as special assistant to a member of the New York City Department of Education. She continues to do consultant work and to serve on various advisory boards dedicated to improving the education of children.

Christian Solorza was an elementary school teacher in a New York City dual language school for seven years and, in his last two years in that role, a BETLA teacher leader. As a member of the graduate faculty at Bank Street College of Education, he teachers courses in language acquisition, bilingual literacy, and curriculum and advises students working in dual language/bilingual and special education settings. He also works as a staff developer in schools, supporting administrators and ESL [English as a Second Language] and classroom teachers in their work with emergent bilingual students. He is a PhD student in the Urban Education program at the City University of New York Graduate Center where he is currently co-investigating (with Kate Menken) factors that determine the educational programming for English language learners that New York City school leaders adopt in their schools.

 

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