This is an interesting piece. It considers the possible "silver lining" to Prop. 227 that eliminated bilingual education in California although it continued via an institutionalized waiver process. That is, it allegedly eliminated a lot of low performing bilingual education programs. Since then, particularly among the ranks of white, middle class parents wanting bilingual education for their children, dual language has gained a lot of traction. Great graphic on "America the Multilingual" from the Migration Policy Institute within. (see below).
Learning English: Accountability, Common Core, and the college-for-all movement are transforming instruction
pre-K teachers introduced “octopus” and “tentacle,” while others taught “pulpo” and “tentaculo.”
In all the pre-K classes, children acted out vocabulary words with hand movements, sang songs,
and played a guess-the-ocean creature game. Then they moved to tables, where some of them
painted paper octopuses, while others gingerly smelled, touched, and then dangled little octopuses
from a local fish market.
Down the hall, kindergartners wrote about their favorite desert animals, talked with a partner about
where cacti grow, and chanted about biomes:
Arid deserts drying
Luscious forests growing
Polar caps freezing
Green prairies growing …
First graders discussed a story their teacher had read aloud in which a grandfather remembers courting
his wife. In Common-Core style, they cited “clues” from the text of the grandfather’s feelings and
learned words to describe emotions.
“How do you know he’s happy?” asked Heidi Conti, the teacher.
“He ‘winked’ at the boy,” answered a student.
“Good,” responded Conti. “You made an inference.”
Ninety-five percent of students at Redwood City’s Hoover School, in San Mateo County, come from low-income and working-class Latino families, and nearly all start school as English language
learners (ELLs). The elementary and middle school piloted the Sobrato Early Academic Language
(SEAL) program in 2009 in hopes of raising reading and math scores and moving more students to
the college track.
Programs like SEAL offer a fresh approach to educating English language learners. The focus in
schools is shifting “from the language of instruction to the quality of instruction,” says Kenji Hakuta,
a Stanford professor who specializes in language learning. As a result, long-standing debates about
whether English learners should be taught only in English or also in their native tongue feel