Advocating for ELs

Carolina TESOL is committed to advocating for English learners throughout the Carolinas by informing educators of national, state, and local research, issues, and policies affecting Els and advising its membership of advocacy resources and opportunities.


In May 2019, we composed and sent a letter to the SC Department of Education explaining our concerns regarding ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 test administration.  In December 2019, we followed up that letter with a request for a response.  In June 2020, we received the following response from the SCDE.

Letter to SDE re ACCESS Concerns.pdf

Letter from SC DOE June 2020.pdf

TESOL International's 2019 Advocacy & Policy Summit

Carolina TESOL members Laurie Smith (President) and Karen Solis (Socio ,-Political Advisor-NC) attended the 2019 TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit June 17-19 in Arlington, VA.  


TESOL International's 2018 Advocacy & Policy Summit

Carolina TESOL members Richard McCabe (President), Revae Bostwick (Treasurer), Alla Polatty (Socio-Political Advisor-SC), and Karen Solis (Socio-Political Advisor-NC) attended the 2018 TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit June 18-20 in Alexandria, VA.  This professional development event allows for "educators to learn about U.S. federal education issues and advocate for policies that support English learners and the field of English language education." (TESOL International) They met with congressional leaders from their home states to address current issues and concerns in these areas.

"No one is a better expert than you who are teaching in the profession every day. You have a voice. Your voice matters. Looking forward to seeing you in (Myrtle Beach, SC)"

To read more on our summit reflection, please click on this TESOL Summit Reflection

Karen Solis and Revae Bostwick share information with Jose Viana, Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director of OELA.

"It was a great honor to represent the state of South Carolina in Washington, DC during 2018 TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summit. Our Advocacy Days might be finished in Washington, DC, but they must continue in our classrooms, schools, and districts."

- Alla Polatty & Richard McCabe

Richard McCabe (President, Caroina TESOL), Senator Tim Scott - SC, and Alla Polatty met in Washington D.C. to discuss issues relevant to English Learners in SC

Socio-Political Officer - NC    Karen Solis

Karen Solis is an English Learner (EL) teacher in Gaston County, North Carolina where she has advocated for EL students and families as a member of the School Improvement Team. As a member of the NC DPI English Learner Support Team, she is a state trainer and coach. Solis is passionate about advocating for ELs. Karen states, "We care about our students, but caring is not enough anymore. We must be informed about what is going on politically. We must take action and advocate for positive change in education. I will do my best to keep our Carolina TESOL members informed."

           Socio-Political Officer - SC               Alla Polatty

Alla Polatty is the ESOL Instructional Coach for Greenwood School district 50 in Greenwood, SC. A native of Ukraine, she has been a teacher for 18 years. She enjoys teaching new languages to students, whether it's a foreign language for English speaking students or English for students with different first language backgrounds. Alla says, "Having been a Language Learner myself, I can relate to many struggles my students experience. Some of the issues of ELs I am passionate about are:  -welcoming schools -training compassionate educators to serve ELs, -valuing of the home language; -celebrating their success, including the Seal of Biliteracy Initiatives. My goal for this position is to bring awareness to some of these issues and help our members see that the change begins with us. "  Advocacy is not what we do for others but what we do with others to transform our community."(NEA)

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