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Past Event

2019 Equity Breakfast Institute: Realizing the Dream — Promoting Success for English Learners

MAEC Realizing the Dream

WestEd’s Aída Walqui, BethAnn Berliner, Silvia DeRuvo, and Elizabeth Burr will participate in the second annual Equity Breakfast Institute, on September 27, 2019, at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme of this year’s institute is Realizing the Dream: Promoting Success for English Learners.

Participants will hear from students and experts about successful interdisciplinary approaches to instruction. Educators will also discuss strategies that support ongoing professional development in order for teachers to meet the adapting and unique needs of English learners with varying literacy levels.

Organized by the Center for Education Equity at MAEC, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and Morgan State University, the event offers workshops that focus on:

  • English learners with a suspected learning disability
  • The unique strengths and needs of newcomer students
  • The civil rights of English learner students
  • Bullying and harassment of English learner students
  • English learner student voices

In the keynote address, Aída Walqui, Director of Quality Teaching for English Learners and the Teacher Professional Development Program at WestEd, will share five principles that define equitable instruction in classrooms where English learners study alone or alongside native speakers of English.

Panels and Presentations

Expert Panel: Critical Issues Regarding the Needs of English Learners
Time: 10–10:45am
Panelists: BethAnn Berliner, Elizabeth Burr, Julie Sugarman
Moderator: Maria del Rosario (Charo) Basterra, Vice President, MAEC
Description: This panel will provide attendees with information about some of the critical issues regarding the needs of English learners.

Presentation: Helping Newcomer Students Succeed in School: Learning from “Bright Spots”
Time: 11am–12pm
Presenters: BethAnn Berliner, Gwen Snow
Description: There are many things that educators can do to help English learner immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking students to succeed in school. This interactive workshop provides practical ideas and promising practices from five bright spot newcomer schools that have a demonstrated record of helping newcomers develop English language proficiency, foster “learning-to-live” skills, fill knowledge gaps, build toward mastery of grade-level content, and receive basic living and social-emotional supports.

WestEd’s BethAnn Berliner will share practical highlights from her recent report, Creating New Futures for Newcomers: Lessons from Five Schools that Serve K–12 Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylees.

Presentation: Putting Research into Practice: Identifying English Learners with Disabilities
Time: 11am–12pm
Presenters: Elizabeth Burr, Silvia DeRuvo
Description: In the absence of consistent guidance, local education agencies can find themselves either over or under-identifying English learners with disabilities. In this session, participants will explore the key considerations related to pre-referral of English learners suspected of having a disability. Participants will have an opportunity to hear about strategies from the literature and recent state and local guidelines that have been developed for practitioners. Best practices for identification will be explored, looking more deeply into the differences between language acquisition and disability, misconceptions about English learners and students with disabilities that can lead to inappropriate referrals for special education.

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Event Type

Professional Development


September 27th, 2019


8:00 am


Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland


Center for Education Equity at MAEC, U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education at Morgan State University


Administrators, Teachers, Researchers, Teacher Educators, Policymakers