Banning Bilingual Education - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-31-2002, 03:06 PM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
oliveu2cm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Live from Boston
Posts: 8,334
Local Time: 11:36 AM
Banning Bilingual Education

For those of you who live in Massachusetts, you will be voting for this on Tuesday. Question Number 2 would replace bilingual programs in Massachusetts with English immersion courses intended to last a year, with exceptions, and is backed by California businessman Ron Unz. (Boston Globe)

The proposed law prohibits teachers uttering even one word of any language besides English in the classroom. If he/she is heard speaking another language, s/he is open to being personal sued, and having his/her teaching license revoked for five years.

Besides the severity of that.. these children are at risk. I mentor weekly with children in a town in Massachusetts that is predominantly Hispanic and Portugese. The teacher was explainging to me how most of the children are ESL (English as a Second Language) and told me how sometimes it is necessary to explain to the student a word, or concept in their native tongue, and then explain it in English. If they don't understand in their own language how are they supposed to learn in another language?

What Unz is proposing is a sink-or-swim program. Yes, some children may learn best in that, but some children MAY SINK. Why can't we leave it up to the individual teachers to decide if they should use the children's native tongue when necessary rather than a removed party?

All of the legislature in Mass disagrees with this bill, yet Unz managed to get enough signatures to put this on the ballot.

The system mandated by this measure has failed in California, where immigrant children stay in separate classes longer than they currently do in Massachusetts, and it will cost taxpayers millions of dollars that we can't afford. (source)

Many of these kids are immigrants themselves, come into the United States education system without knowing a word of English, and they get no help with English at home. I would think it's hard enough at home where they probably take on the roll of helping their parents speak to the "outside world" (I know many, many children who do this). Why deny them extra help they may get in school? Why put this pressure of do-or-die on them?


Bad for students
The Unz petition is a one-size-fits-all, top-down education plan. After one year in a multi-grade, multilingual a "immersiona" program, many LEP students are still not proficient in English and most will have fallen behind in their academic subjects. The Unz plan doesna't offer them any choices or additional help. Students currently enrolled in successful bilingual education and dual language programs would lose the educational benefits they currently receive.

(Mass Education)

Thoughts?
-Olive
__________________

__________________
oliveu2cm is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 03:10 PM   #2
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
oliveu2cm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Live from Boston
Posts: 8,334
Local Time: 11:36 AM

__________________

__________________
oliveu2cm is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 03:20 PM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
MissVelvetDress_75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: basking in my post-concert glow still mesmerized by the orbit of his hips..Also Holding Bono Close as he requested.
Posts: 25,776
Local Time: 10:36 AM
[q]
The proposed law prohibits teachers uttering even one word of any language besides English in the classroom. If he/she is heard speaking another language, s/he is open to being personal sued, and having his/her teaching license revoked for five years.[/q]

__________________
MissVelvetDress_75 is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 03:30 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
anitram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 16,295
Local Time: 10:36 AM
It's stupid, I agree.

However, the data suggests (my mother is the author of a number of TESL, TESOL and EFL publications, as well as books) that when the teacher does not speak the language of the students (ie. Portuguese), they learn faster and better.

In fact, most adult learners will insist on having native speakers as teachers, and prefer that to a teacher of their own ethnic background.

My mom's out of the country at the moment, lecturing in Europe, she'll be back on the weekend, and I could post some of the references, if anybody's interested.
__________________
anitram is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 03:39 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
oliveu2cm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Live from Boston
Posts: 8,334
Local Time: 11:36 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
It's stupid, I agree.

However, the data suggests (my mother is the author of a number of TESL, TESOL and EFL publications, as well as books) that when the teacher does not speak the language of the students (ie. Portuguese), they learn faster and better.
I wonder if this depends on age? I know that younger children learn languages much faster.

I'd like to read references, thanks.

I still think this Question is too severe and limiting. To offer absolutely no other option..
__________________
oliveu2cm is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 03:51 PM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
DrTeeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Q continuum
Posts: 4,770
Local Time: 04:36 PM

This sounds very similar to what is going on over here in Holland, where some politicians want Dutch to be the only language in which children of asylum seekers are taught (sp?), claiming it would improve the level of integration (whatever that is). While teachers who don’t speak the native language of their students will force these students to speak Dutch (and thus force them to learn the language faster), it will undoubtedly cause lots of problems when teaching other courses like math and history etc. I was just wondering if this supposedly enhanced level of integration is worth the amount of dumbass kids we’ll be creating who don’t know their pi from their Treaty of Utrecht . In other words; bad idea.
__________________
DrTeeth is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 04:54 PM   #7
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 10:36 AM
Re: Banning Bilingual Education

Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm


All of the legislature in Mass disagrees with this bill, yet Unz managed to get enough signatures to put this on the ballot.

-Olive
Olive, not that I doubt you, but are you sure about this statement? Not a single person in the legislature is for this?

I find that strange since the Republican Canidate for governor supports it.

The reason the penalties are so high, is that many teachers feel that once they step into the classroom, they are accountable only to themselves. It is sad that such extreme measures have to be added into the proposal. It is really the only reason I am against it. In principal, I am 100% for immersion.


Peace to all.
__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 05:05 PM   #8
She's the One
 
martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Orange County and all over the goddamn place
Posts: 42,337
Local Time: 07:36 AM
Ron Unz is a dangerous man who pays no attention to the research of education professionals. We here in California also allow educational policy to be set by referendum instead of by professionals using research-based techniques. He got away with dismantling bilingual ed. here. It's not a successful move. It doesn't allow much room to adapt to the students' needs. It assumes that all students learn at the same rate and come from the same backgrounds. And it makes me a border patrol agent.


And, anitram, adult learners are completly different from children in their style of learning and the affective filter they bring to the classroom.
__________________
martha is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 05:22 PM   #9
War Child
 
Spiral_Staircase's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Knoxville, TN, USA
Posts: 679
Local Time: 09:36 AM
if the research says that immersion is usually the best way to learn, great. Administrators should be pushing it with their teachers. But something this rigid seems asinine to me. If we can't trust administrators and teachers to figure out how to teach, then we need to hire new teachers and administrators, not ask the voters to help them figure out how to teach.

This is just my first reaction, but why are we setting educational policy by referendum? We don't decide curriculum this way. I would expect the people that are in the classrooms would have a far better idea of the best way to teach than the average voter. This seems really foolish to me. Am I missing something?
__________________
Spiral_Staircase is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 05:50 PM   #10
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
oliveu2cm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Live from Boston
Posts: 8,334
Local Time: 11:36 AM
Re: Re: Banning Bilingual Education

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


Olive, not that I doubt you, but are you sure about this statement? Not a single person in the legislature is for this?

Good point- this is what the teacher told me, but I didn't research it myself it see if it's true. She said all the info was on the back of the ballot. I'll check more later when I have time.
__________________
oliveu2cm is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 06:23 PM   #11
She's the One
 
martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Orange County and all over the goddamn place
Posts: 42,337
Local Time: 07:36 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Spiral_Staircase
if the research says that immersion is usually the best way to learn, great. Administrators should be pushing it with their teachers. But something this rigid seems asinine to me. If we can't trust administrators and teachers to figure out how to teach, then we need to hire new teachers and administrators, not ask the voters to help them figure out how to teach.

This is just my first reaction, but why are we setting educational policy by referendum? We don't decide curriculum this way. I would expect the people that are in the classrooms would have a far better idea of the best way to teach than the average voter. This seems really foolish to me. Am I missing something?
No.

I think I love you.


(Research doesn't support immersion. Stephen Krashen has done extensive research on this.)
__________________
martha is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 07:48 PM   #12
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 10:36 AM
Re: Re: Re: Banning Bilingual Education

Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm


Good point- this is what the teacher told me, but I didn't research it myself it see if it's true. She said all the info was on the back of the ballot. I'll check more later when I have time.
I just debated with my father on this....and of course, I argued opposite of what I believe because, I just like to debate...

anyways......

According to the Ballot Information Book that my father was quoting from, teachers are allowed to speak in a native toungue if it is "necessary". I want to read it for myself, and not have my father tell me what he read. I will get back to you tomorrow on this.

Martha, it is interesting that there are experts being quoted by the other side on this issue as well, saying that immersion works.
__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 09:45 PM   #13
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 10,881
Local Time: 10:36 AM
Here is the Ballot Initiative as it stands.......Read for yourself..... or here is the link to the summary if this is too gobbly gook for you....http://www.boston.com/politics/state..._2_summary.htm


Ballot initiatives

No. 01-11

AN INITIATIVE PETITION FOR A LAW:
An Act relative to the teaching of English in Public Schools

Be it enacted by the People, and by their authority, as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter Seventy-one A of the General Laws as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition is hereby amended by striking sections 1 through 9 and substituting the following:


Section 1. Findings and Declarations
The People of Massachusetts find and declare that:
(a) The English language is the common public language of the United States of America and of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is spoken by the vast majority of Massachusetts residents, and is also the leading world language for science, technology, and international business, thereby being the language of economic opportunity; and
(b) Immigrant parents are eager to have their children become fluent and literate in English, thereby allowing them to fully participate in the American Dream of economic and social advancement; and
(c) The government and the public schools of Massachusetts have a moral obligation and a constitutional duty to provide all of Massachusetts’s children, regardless of their ethnicity or national origins, with the skills necessary to become productive members of our society. Of these skills, literacy in the English language is among the most important.
(d) The public schools of Massachusetts have done an inadequate job of educating many immigrant children, requiring that they be placed in native language programs whose failure over past decades is demonstrated by the low English literacy levels of those children.
(e) Immigrant children can easily acquire full fluency and literacy in a new language, such as English, if they are taught that language in the classroom as soon as they enter school.
(f) Therefore it is resolved that: all children in Massachusetts public schools shall be taught English as rapidly and effectively as possible.

Section. 2. Definitions
In this chapter,
(a) “Bilingual education” means a language acquisition process for students in which all or substantial portions of the instruction, textbooks, or teaching materials are in the child’s native language other than English.
(b) “English language classroom” means a classroom in which the language of instruction used by the teaching personnel is overwhelmingly the English language, and in which such teaching personnel are fluent and literate in English. English language classrooms encompass both English language mainstream classrooms and sheltered English immersion classrooms.
(c) “English language mainstream classroom” means a standard classroom, one in which the students either are native English language speakers or already have acquired reasonable fluency in English.
(d) “English learner” means a child who does not speak English or whose native language is not English, and who is not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English.
(e) “Sheltered English immersion” means an English language acquisition process for young children in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English but with the curriculum and presentation designed for children who are learning the language. Books and instructional materials are in English and all reading, writing, and subject matter are taught in English. Although teachers may use a minimal amount of the child’s native language when necessary, no subject matter shall be taught in any language other than English, and children in this program learn to read and write solely in English. This educational methodology represents the standard definition of “sheltered English” or “structured English” found in educational literature.

Section 3. Census.
Local school committees shall annually ascertain, not earlier than the first day of April, under regulations prescribed by the Department of Education, the number of English learners within their school system in grades Kindergarten through twelve, and shall classify them according to grade level, the language of which they possess a primary speaking ability, and the English learner program type in which they are enrolled, with all such information being made publicly available by school and school district on a website.

Section 4. English language education
Subject to the exceptions provided in Section 5 of this chapter, all children in Massachusetts public schools shall be taught English by being taught in English and all children shall be placed in English language classrooms. Children who are English learners shall be educated through sheltered English immersion during a temporary transition period not normally intended to exceed one school year. Local schools shall be permitted but not required to place in the same classroom English learners of different ages but whose degree of English proficiency is similar. Local schools shall be encouraged to mix together in the same classroom English learners from different native-language groups but with the same degree of English fluency. Once English learners acquire a good working knowledge of English and are able to do regular school work in English, they shall no longer be classified as English learners and shall be transferred to English language mainstream classrooms. Foreign language classes for children who already know English shall be completely unaffected, as shall be special educational programs for physically- or mentally-impaired students.

Section 5. Parental waivers
(a) . The requirements of Section 4 of this chapter may be waived with the prior written informed consent, to be provided annually, of the child’s parents or legal guardian under the circumstances specified in this section. Such informed consent shall require that said parents or legal guardian personally visit the school to apply for the waiver and that they there be provided a full description in a language they can understand of the educational materials to be used in the different educational program choices and all the educational opportunities available to the child. If a parental waiver has been granted, the affected child may be transferred to classes teaching English and other subjects through bilingual education techniques, such as two-way bilingual programs, or other generally recognized educational methodologies permitted by law. Individual schools in which 20 students or more of a given grade level receive a waiver shall be required to offer such a class; in all other cases, such students must be permitted to transfer to a public school in which such a class is offered.
(b) . The circumstances in which a parental exception waiver may be applied for under this section are as follows:

(1) .Children who already know English: the child already possesses good English language skills, as measured by oral evaluation or standardized tests of English vocabulary comprehension, reading, and writing, in which the child scores approximately at or above the state average for his grade level or at or above the 5 grade average, whichever is lower; or th
(2) .Older children: the child is age 10 years or older, and it is the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the child’s overall educational progress and rapid acquisition of basic English language skills; or
(3) . Children with special individual needs: the child already has been placed for a period of not less than thirty calendar days during that particular school year in an English language classroom and it is subsequently the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that the child has such special and individual physical or psychological needs, above and beyond the child’s lack of English proficiency, that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the child’s overall educational development and rapid acquisition of English. A written description of no less than 250 words documenting these special individual needs for the specific child must be provided and permanently added to the child’s official school records, and the waiver application must contain the original authorizing signatures of both the school principal and the local superintendent of schools. Waivers granted under this section cannot be applied for until after thirty calendar days of a given school year have passed, and this waiver process must be renewed each and every school year. Any such decision to issue such an individual waiver is to be made subject to the examination and approval of the local school superintendent, under guidelines established by and subject to the review of the local school committee and ultimately the state board of education. The existence of such special individual needs shall not compel issuance of a waiver, and the parents shall be fully informed of their right to refuse to agree to a waiver.


Section 6. Legal standing and parental enforcement
(a) As set forth in Section 4 of this chapter, all school children are to be provided at their assigned school with an English language public education. The parent or legal guardian of any school child shall have legal standing to sue for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, and if successful shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees, costs and compensatory damages.
(b) Any school district employee, school committee member or other elected official or administrator who willfully and repeatedly refuses to implement the terms of this chapter may be held personally liable for reasonable attorney’s fees, costs and compensatory damages by the child’s parents or legal guardian, and shall not be subsequently indemnified for such monetary judgment by any public or private third party. Any individual found so liable shall be barred from election or reelection to any school committee and from employment in any public school district for a period of five years following the entry of final judgment.
(c) Parents and legal guardians who apply for and are granted exception waivers under Section 5(b)(3) of this chapter retain full and permanent legal right to sue the individuals who granted such waivers if they subsequently discover before the child reaches the age of eighteen that the application for waivers was induced by fraud or intentional misrepresentation and injured the education of their child.

Section 7. Standardized testing for monitoring education progress
To ensure that the educational progress of all students in learning English together with other academic subjects is properly monitored, a standardized, nationally-normed written test of academic subject matter given in English shall be administered at least once each year to all public schoolchildren in grades 2 and higher who are English learners. This requirement shall not be construed as barring the administration of this same exam to other students. A nationally-normed test of English proficiency shall similarly be administered at least once each year to all Massachusetts schoolchildren in grades Kindergarten and higher who are English learners. Only English learners classified as severely learning disabled may be exempted from these tests. The particular tests to be used shall be selected by the Board of Education, and it is intended that the tests shall usually remain the same from year to year. The national percentile scores of students shall be confidentially provided to individual parents, and the aggregated percentile scores and distributional data for individual schools and school districts shall be made publicly available on an internet web site; the scores for students classified as English learners shall be separately sub-aggregated and made publicly available there as well, with further sub-aggregation based on the English learner program type in which they are enrolled. School enrollment by race, ethnicity, and English learner program type shall also be made publicly available. Although administration of these tests are required solely for monitoring educational progress, public officials and administrators may utilize these test scores for other purposes as well if they so choose.

Section 8. Community-Based English Tutoring.
In furtherance of its constitutional and legal obligation to provide all children with an adequate education, the state shall encourage family members and others to provide personal English language tutoring to such children as are English learners, and support these efforts by raising the general level of English language knowledge in the community. Subject to appropriation by the General Court, commencing with the fiscal year in which this initiative is enacted and for each of the nine fiscal years following thereafter, a sum of five million dollars ($5,000,000) per year shall be spent for the purpose of providing funding for free or subsidized programs of adult English language instruction to parents or other members of the community who pledge to provide personal English language tutoring to Massachusetts school children who are English learners. Programs funded pursuant to this section shall be provided through schools or community organizations. Funding for these programs shall be administered by the Department of Education, and shall be disbursed at the discretion of the local school committees in each district, under reasonable guidelines established by, and subject to the review of, the Board of Education.

SECTION 2. Severability
If a provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.

SECTION 3. Interpretation
Under circumstances in which portions of this act are subject to conflicting interpretations, the Findings and Declarations of subsection 1 of section 1 of this act shall be assumed to contain the governing intent of this act.

SECTION 4. Effective Date
Except for the testing requirements of subsection 7 of section 1 of this act, which shall be implemented immediately, all other sections of this act shall become effective for all school years that begin following the effective date of this act.
__________________
Dreadsox is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 09:48 PM   #14
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 10:36 AM
I do like that ballot information book in Massachusetts! I must say that, because of that, there should be little excuse for being an uninformed voter (aside from being a recent move-in, like myself ).

The problem with Question 2 is the fact that it is just as absolute as the current bilingual education. Mandating bilingual education or mandating English-only education does not take into account that only teachers know the nuances of their students; they know who would be better helped by a more bilingual education and those ready for English immersion.

Melon
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 10-31-2002, 09:51 PM   #15
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 10:36 AM
Re: Re: Banning Bilingual Education

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Olive, not that I doubt you, but are you sure about this statement? Not a single person in the legislature is for this?
Hehe...isn't Tom Finneran's opinion the only one that matters?



Melon
__________________

__________________
melon is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com