Bilingual Education Massachusetts Web Page

October 2, 2008

Bilingual Education Massachusetts Web Page with

information on bilingual education and legislation.

To write with questions or for more info : neilesl@aol.com

To join : bilingualedmass@yahoogroups.com, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BilingualEdMass

or write BilingualEdMass-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Please send any suggested links or information on bad links to the above E-mail address

Mass links :

Multilingual Action Coalition (MAC) P.O. Box 934 Amherst, MA 01002 Dedicated to promoting the needs of the multilingual communities of Amherst, Massachusetts and surrounding areas. http://mac.blix.com/

Becoming Bilingual in the Amigos Two-Way Immersion Program (1998) – Cambridge http://www.cal.org/crede/pubs/research/rr3.htm

Information on the Framingham Bilingual Program is available at : http://www.lab.brown.edu/public/NABE/portraits.taf?_function=detail&Data_entry_uid1=33

Mass English Plus Coalition, E-mail: maengplus@aol.com , Phone: (617) 457-8885, 126 High Street, Boston, MA 02110, http://www.massenglishplus.org/ http://www.massenglishplus.org/content/Education/Bilingual_Education/Demythifying%20Bilingual%20Education.htm

Office of Bilingual Education and Language Services, 26 Court St. 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108

An Act relative to the teaching of English in Public Schools (“Unz” initiative) http://www.massenglishplus.org/cgi-bin/load_page.cgi?content_page=’content/Bilingual_Education/Massachusetts_Bilingual_Ed/MA_Unz_Initiative_Text.pdf

or http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/71A-1.htm

An Act to Promote Choices in Bilingual Education for Students & Parents http://www.ago.state.ma.us/gov_access/Gov01-27.pdf

Statewide Ballot Question Committees – 2001 Year-End Reports http://www.state.ma.us/ocpf/bqye01.html

LRCCWM Language Rights for Children Coalition of Western Massachusetts http://www.umass.edu/education/languagerights/

Harvard shuns Unz – Report says Calif. bilingual plan fails the test 6/4/02 Cambridge Chronicle By Deborah Eisner http://www.townonline.com/metro/cambridge/37089329.htm

The Civil Rights Project – School Segregation Briefing http://www.law.harvard.edu/groups/civilrights/publications/bilingual02/synopsis.html

Latinos in Massachusetts: Education – A Review of the Literature on Bilingual Education by Lorna Rivera April 2002 http://www.gaston.umb.edu/factsheethtml/biling.html

Other related links :

Breaking the Code: Colorado’s Defeat of the Anti-Bilingual Education Initiative (Amendment 31)
http://brj.asu.edu./content/vol27_no3/art1.pdf http://brj.asu.edu./content/vol27_no3/abstracts.html#1

http://www.no-on-31.org/ Colorado No on Amendment 31 page

http://www.crede.ucsc.edu/research/llaa/1.1_final.html A National Study of School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students’ Long-Term Academic Achievement Final Report: Project 1.1 Principal Investigators: Wayne P. Thomas – George Mason University Virginia P. Collier – George Mason University Project Period: July 1996 – June 2001The strongest predictor of L2 student achievement is amount of formal L1 schooling. The more L1 grade-level schooling, the higher L2 achievement.”

School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students” – Thomas and Collier, George Mason University – National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, The George Washington University Center for the Study of Language and Education, Washington, D.C. http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/ncbepubs/resource/effectiveness/index.htm

Stanford 9 English Scores Show – A Consistent Edge For Bilingual Education – by James Crawford – April 15, 2000 http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/AZscores.htm

Californians Together: A Roundtable for Quality Education - Bilingual Schools Make Exceptional Gains on the State’s Academic Performance Index (API) Children in Bilingual Education Classes Performed Better in Tests of Academic Achievement Than Students Receiving Most of Their Instruction in English http://www.californiatomorrow.org/files/pdfs/API_REPORT_PRESS_RELEASE_12-5.PDF

Portraits of Success – National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) – information on successful bilingual districts is at : http://www.lab.brown.edu/public/NABE/portraits.taf

The Achievement Gap – January 16, 2002 – Denis O’Leary, League of United Latin American Citizens – Far West Region Press Release Contact: Denis O’Leary, Education Advisor, Far West Region, (AZ, CA, CO, HI, NV, OR, UT, WA), LULAC (805) 815-4442 According to recently released Stanford 9 data, the gap between English fluent and non English fluent students has increased. http://www.latinosonline.com/cabe/showarticle.cfm?titleID=579

Education Policy Analysis Archives – Volume 10 Number 7 January 25, 2002 ISSN 1068-2341 – A peer-reviewed scholarly journal – Editor: Gene V Glass – College of Education – Arizona State University http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v10n7/ “…we present a comprehensive summary of scaled-score achievement means and trajectories for California’s LEP and non-LEP students for 1998-2000. Our analyses indicate that although scores have risen overall, the achievement gap between LEP and EP students does not appear to be narrowing”

Bilingual Education, the Acquisition of English, and the Retention and Loss of Spanish by Stephen Krashen http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/Krashen7.htm

Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning, originally published by Pergamon Press in 1981, is now available on the internet at skrashen.com. It can be viewed free of charge. http://skrashen.com/

Condemned Without A Trial – Bogus Arguments Against Bilingual Education” Stephen D. Krashen – Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH, www.heinemann.com

http://www.azusausd.k12.ca.us/bilingual/BilingualDeptHomePage.html (Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development) Steve Concidine’s CLAD Study Guide for teachers – Study Guides include: 2nd Language Acquisition, BICS/CALP, Krashen, Cummins, Key Vocabulary, Federal/State Law, Legislative Time Lines, Bilingual Education Programs, Current Research, Linguistics, Culture, Practice Test Items, Sample Essays and much more. Featuring Links To Dr. Stephen Krashen’s Editorials, E-mails, Articles, and Short Papers

Troubling Trends, Paying for Other Districts’ Sins by Steve Concidine http://www.azusausd.k12.ca.us/bilingual/pdf%5CTroublingTrend.pdf

Dr. Stephen Krashen’s Editorial / Opinion Page – http://www.azusausd.k12.ca.us/bilingual/Krashen.html

What Can We Learn About the Impact of Proposition 227 from SAT-9 Scores? Kenji Hakuta http://www.stanford.edu/~hakuta/SAT9/

Follow up on Oceanside http://www.stanford.edu/~hakuta/SAT9/Silence%20from%20Oceanside%202.htm

Kenji Hakuta’s Points on SAT-9 Performance and Proposition 227 http://www.stanford.edu/~hakuta/SAT9/SAT9_2000/bullets.htm

SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF KENJI HAKUTA http://www.stanford.edu/~hakuta/UnzSupplementalDeclaration.html

What Can We Learn About the Impact of Proposition 227 – An Analysis of Results from 2000. Jennifer Evelyn Orr, Yuko Goto Butler, Michele Bousquet, and Kenji Hakuta Stanford University August 15, 2000 http://www.stanford.edu/~hakuta/SAT9/SAT9_2000/analysis2000.htm

CABE – California Association for Bilingual Education http://www.bilingualeducation.org/

Best Evidence: Research Foundations of the Bilingual Education Act – James Crawford – National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education March 1997 http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/ncbepubs/reports/bestevidence/index.htm

Proposition 227′s Second Anniversary: Triumph or Travesty? Jill Kerper Mora, Ed.D San Diego State University http://coe.sdsu.edu/people/jmora/Prop227/227YearTwo.htm

What Do the SAT-9 Scores for Language Minority Students Really Mean? Jill Kerper Mora San Diego State University http://coe.sdsu.edu/people/jmora/SAT9analysis.htm

A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Bilingual Education by Jay P. Greene Assistant Professor of Government University of Texas at Austin March 2, 1998 http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/greene.htm

NCBE Home Page – http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/

Class Dismissed – Bilingual Education Under Siege and English-Only Is No Way to Learn – By Stephen D. Krashen http://www.americas.org/

Why Bilingual Education? ERIC® Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools by Stephen Krashen EDO RC 96-8 (January 1997) http://aelvis.ael.org/eric/digests/edorc968.htm

Supplemental Declaration of Lily Wong Fillmore – http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/linguistics/people/grads/macswan/fillmor2.htm

Research and studies that have dealt with bilingual education and the use of the native language in general http://www.irvingisd.net/~spollard/research.htm

Estudios e investigaciones académicas que han tratado de la educación bilingüe y el uso del idioma natal en general http://www.irvingisd.net/~spollard/investigaciones.htm

Proposition 227 and Skyrocketing Test Scores: An Urban Legend from CaliforniaStephen Krashen http://www.irvingisd.net/~spollard/skyrocketing.htm

http://www.irvingisd.net/~spollard/california.htm California – Many are seeing now that Ron Unz’s Prop. 227 which dismantled bilingual ed is a failure.

Http://www.irvingisd.net/~spollard/learning%20english%20in%20california_files/frame.htm

http://www.azusausd.k12.ca.us/bilingual/BilingualDeptHomePage.html

Bilingual Research Journal – http://brj.asu.edu/

Is One Year /180 Days Enough? – Stephen Krashen http://www.languagebooks.com/2.0/articles/IsOneYear.180DaysEnough.html

Obituary – The Bilingual Education Act – 1968 – 2002 by James Crawford http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/T7obit.htm

Supreme Court, State of ColoradoIn the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title and Submission Clause for Proposed Initiatives 2001-2002 #21 and #22 (“English Language Education”) http://www.courts.state.co.us/supct/opinion/01SA409.doc

Dr. Cummins’ ESL and Second Language Learning Web http://www.iteachilearn.com/cummins/

CTA California Educator – What hath Prop. 227 wrought? What’s the fallout of Dismantling bilingual education? http://www.cta.org/cal_educator/v6i2/feature_fallout.html

English for the Children: The New Literacy of the Old World Order, Language Policy and Educational Reform – Kris D. Gutiérrez, Patricia Baquedano-López, Jolynn Asato http://brj.asu.edu/v2412/articles/ar7.html

E-mail neilesl@aol.com for a copy of California SAT-9 Testing Results Statewide Percentile Ranking Class Comparison Grade 2-LEP and Non-LEP Results “By removing native language support at the early grade levels we seem to be preventing growth for our students.”

More Great Links and Editorials from Bilingual Services http://www.azusausd.k12.ca.us/bilingual/More%20Bil%20Dept%20Links.html

Silence from Oceanside and the Future of Bilingual Education by Kenji Hakuta http://www.stanford.edu/~hakuta/SAT9/Silence%20from%20Oceanside.htm

Modern Racism and Its Psychosocial Effects on Society – including a discussion about bilingual education

October 2, 2008

Modern Racism and Its Psychosocial Effects on Society by Neil Brick

by Neil Brick MA Ed. Author E-mail: neilesl@aol.com

This paper will describe and delineate the effects of modern racism on society from a psychological perspective. It will define different forms of racism and the effects of racism on the different parts and aspects of society. I will discuss how modern racism may be a step between overt forms of racism and the elimination of racism. Data will be presented and discussed from social psychological and sociological studies. The ideas of a variety of authors writing about the topic of racism and effects will also be enumerated upon.

Racism is defined as an individual’s discriminatory behavior and prejudicial attitude toward people of a certain race or institutional practices (whether motivated by prejudice or not) that subordinate a certain race’s people. (Myers, 1993) Subtle prejudice may be defined as exaggerating ethnic differences, rejecting minorities for supposed nonracial reasons and feeling less admiration and affection for minorities. I will define modern racism as a subtle form of prejudice. I define it as modern because though some overt forms of racism appear to be on the decline (Myers, 1993) other more subtle forms still exist. Subtle forms entail a subconscious attitude that the holder may be fully unaware of, or one that is known of but repressed, but yet influences their thoughts and behavior. This attitude may become more conscious through education and self-exploration.

Sherman believes modern racism has evolved from aggressive prejudicial behavior to a more subtle form. This behavior is more difficult to see, yet is seen as more severe. Companies may promise equal opportunity, yet there is little doubt that this occurs. Subtle and modern forms of racism are thought of as creating an image that is more politically correct. This way of discriminating may be seen as a “polite” form of racism. Previously, racism was easier to define and institutionalized. (Sherman, 2000)

Aronson, Wilson and Akert define modern racism as acting unprejudiced while maintaining prejudiced attitudes. They believe that prejudice has become more subtle. People will hide prejudice to avoid being called racist, but when a situation becomes safe, their prejudice will be expressed. An example of this is, most Americans say they are opposed to school desegregation, but most white parents oppose busing their children to desegregate schools. When questioned, parents will state they don’t want their children to spend a lot of time on a bus. But most white parents don’t object to having their children bused from one white school to another, only when the busing is interracial. Modern prejudice can best be studied using unobtrusive or subtle methods. Jones and Sigall use what they call the bogus pipeline, which is a fake lie detector machine. More racial prejudice was present when the bogus pipeline was used. (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2001) This shows that people were hiding their racial prejudice, until they felt this would be discovered.

Modern racism also exists in other countries. In studies done in France, the Netherlands and Great Britain, it was found that the behavior of natives toward immigrants can be predicted from scores of both blatant and subtle measures of prejudice. People whom score high on the subtle racism scale but low on the blatant scale tend to reject immigrants in more subtle and socially acceptable ways. (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2001)

Subtle forms of prejudice can be measured in scientific studies. Duncan in the mid 70′s had White students observe a videotape of a White man lightly shoving a black man during an argument. Only 13% percent rated the behavior as violent. When the situation was reversed,

73% stated the Black man was acting violently. Attitude researchers like Dovidio state that the attitudes of prejudice persist in subtle forms. Critics of the existence of subtle prejudice may reply that policies opposing busing and affirmative action are enforcing the values of individual choice and self-reliance and are not prejudicial. Devine has shown that automatic emotional prejudicial reactions linger. A low prejudice person will consciously suppress prejudicial feelings and thoughts. Resentments in essence still lurk beneath the surface, though open racial prejudice has declined. (Myers, 1993)

Sue and Sue believe that ethnocentric monoculturalism is dysfunctional in a pluralistic society like the U. S. Its five components are a belief in superiority, a belief in the inferiority of others, the power to impose to standards upon less powerful groups, its manifestation in institutions and the invisible veil. (Sue & Sue, 1999) In a sense, the invisible veil could be considered a component of modern or subtle racism. People are all products of cultural conditioning. Therefore, a person’s world view operates outside of their level of conscious awareness. This world view contains biased and prejudiced belief systems. People are taught to hate and fear others that are different. The biggest obstacle toward moving to a multicultural society may be peoples’ failure to understand their unintentional and unconscious complicity that perpetuates bias and discrimination. (Sue & Sue, 1999)

Cultural tunnel vision could be considered a form of modern or subtle racism. Corey, Corey and Callanan discuss how many psychology students enter training with monocultural tunnel vision. They may make statements that they don’t want to work with poor people or minority groups. They may state implicitly or explicitly that minority groups are unresponsive to professional psychological intervention due to a lack of motivation to change or due to some sort of resistance in seeking professional help. Wrenn describes the culturally encapsulated counselor as one who defines reality with one set of cultural assumptions, shows insensitivity to individual cultural differences, accepts unreasoned assumptions with no proof, doesn’t evaluate other viewpoints nor tries to accommodate the behavior of others and is trapped in one way of thinking. Sue, Ivey and Pedersen state that many therapeutic practices are biased against racial minorities and may reflect racism. Sue claims that these practices have damaged the chance for equal access and have oppressed those culturally different in society. (Corey, Corey & Callanan, 1997)

One place where modern racism may appear is in the bilingual education and the English only debate. Crawford summarizes the opposition to Official English by stating that opponents claim the English only movement justifies racist and nativist biases below a cover of American patriotism. Secretary of education Bennett spoke in 1985, calling the Bilingual Education Act a failure and waste of money. Bennett’s office claimed his ideas were supported five-to-one by letters. Most of the supporting letters had less to do with education and had more statements about illegal aliens on welfare, communities being overrun by minorities, foreigners trying to impose their culture on Americans and the out-of-control birthrates of linguistic minorities. Opponents of bilingual education state that teaching in languages other than English will cause dissension and division and that speaking English is American and other languages un-American. (Freeman & Freeman, 1994)

Baker states that in many bilingual situations, bilingualism exists along with racism and disadvantage. Simply speaking the majority language will not suddenly change racism. The negative attitudes of majority peoples tend to be based on the fear of a different group and a fear of the loss of economic power. (Baker, 1995)

Baker states that psychological roots of racial prejudice and hostility are separate from multicultural education’s philosophical base. Some state that multicultural education may leave the racist fabric of society unaltered. When education about racism and anti-racism are left out of a multicultural program, the program may tranquilize action against racism, and divert confrontation against racism into harmless channels. Anti-racist multicultural programs should include a discussion of the structural reason why racism exists, including the institutionalization of racism. The roots of racism tend to be in fear and misunderstanding, as well as the unequal distribution of economic rewards and power. Making students bilingual in itself may not be enough to reverse the injustices and inequalities in society. Cummins believes that bilingual education only becomes effective when it becomes anti-racist education. Fishman believes that being secure in one’s own identity may be a necessary prerequisite before accepting other languages and cultures. A language minority might need to be secure in itself before its becoming multicultural. Security and status in a person’s own language might be important for accepting other cultures and languages. (Baker, 1996) An interesting question derived from this is, are people that are more insecure in their own identity more likely to be racist? Could modern racism be an intellectual ego defense mechanism used by those insecure of their own cultural identity? Or does modern racism existence in the individual also entail the individual’s lack of knowledge of the basic mechanisms of social influence on the human psyche, as well as a lack of education of those having subtly racist beliefs?

A consideration of language usage may also help explain how modern racism has continued into society. Fromkin and Rodman discuss how racial and national epithets tell us something about the users of these words. The word “boy” is not a slur when used to describe a child, but it is a slur when used to describe an adult Black man. In this case, it reflects upon that attitude of the speaker. Other words like “nigger” express the chauvinistic and racist attitudes of society. If bigotry and racism did not exist, then these slurs’ usages would either die out or lose their racist meanings. They also mention that many pejorative terms exist for women, but that there are far fewer for men. If a person views Hispanics or Blacks as inferior, then their special characteristics of speech will be seen as inferior. What the society institutionalizes, the language reflects. When everyone in society is equal and treated equally, there won’t be any concern about language differences. (Fromkin & Rodman, 1993) Modern racism may be culturally reflected in the way certain accents (such as a Hispanic accent) or dialects (such as Black English) are seen and discouraged.

Dovidio, Mann and Gaertner argue that white opposition to affirmative action is rooted largely in a subtle, pervasive form of racism they call “aversive racism.” They define aversive racism as the adaptation of one’s attitude which has resulted from assimilating an egalitarian value system with racist and prejudiced beliefs. This causes an ambivalence between racial biases and a desire to be egalitarian and racially tolerant. Some social psychologists state that aversive racists believe they are nonprejudiced and not overtly racist. But when aversive racists are uncertain about what the right thing to do is, or if they can justify their actions on something different from race, their negative feelings toward Blacks will come out. When white college students were asking to rate Black and White people on a simple “good-bad” level, the students rated Whites and Black positively. When the continuum was made more subtle, Whites were more often consistently rated better than Blacks. The researchers believed that aversive racists see Blacks as not worse, but Whites as better. When white college students were asked to rate weakly qualified Black and White job candidates, both were rejected, showing no bias. When applicants had moderate qualifications, Whites were evaluated a little bit better than Blacks. When the candidates had strong qualifications, there was a significant difference in the ratings. The bias was even more obvious when a Black person was rated in a position superior to the White person evaluating them. The researchers postulated that the bias was even greater because the possibility of being in a subordinate position to a Black person threatened deeply held (but possibly unconscious) notions of White superiority. (Tatum, 1997)

Clayton and Tangri believe the reason there is a pattern of underestimating Black candidates is due to the fact that if an evaluator expects a weak performance but sees a strong one, the strong performance is attributed to luck or effort, which can change. Strong performances based on ability can be repeated (the explanation used in this theory by White evaluators for White candidates). This shows how affirmative action’s efforts that focus on process rather than outcome may be ineffective. There are too many chances for evaluator bias to be manifested. (Tatum, 1997)

The evidence strongly suggests that segregation continues because of continuing racial discrimination in the banking industries and in real estate, the continuation of white prejudice against black neighbors and discriminatory public policies. Black ghettoes continue to contain a disproportionate number of the nation’s poor, creating an extremely disadvantaged environment that only Black people face. The quality of life in White neighborhoods has not changed very much over the years, but poor Black neighborhoods have negatively changed greatly. In many metropolitan areas, three-quarters of Black Americans are highly segregated. Intense segregation causes a concentration of poverty 27 percent worse than would occur under complete integration. White Americans may endorse open housing in principle, yet they are reluctant to live in neighborhoods with high numbers of Blacks. The main issue is how race and class interact to create walls to Black socioeconomic progress that are intense, severe and durable. (Massey & Fischer, 1998) Racism in this case has created an extremely detrimental effect on Black Americans.

Sherman describes one type of modern racism, the glass ceiling effect. This describes the invisible differences in appraisal, salary and position between men and women. Modern racism may also be seen in the myths that certain races may be better or worse in certain abilities, such as Blacks being better at jumping and running. Due to a lack of familiarity with other races, people are more likely to unconsciously discriminate against others. (Sherman, 2000)

Axelson discusses the ramifications of racism. He defines racism as the belief that some races are inherently superior to other races. Prejudice is defined as the emotional aspect of racism. The way a culture or a nation names themselves or other nations, may betray their prejudices. Farb states that when U. S. citizens call themselves Americans, they effectively ignore all other peoples of the Americas. Racial prejudice, defined as a psychosocial process, can be used to make one feel superior to others by making erroneous assumptions based on racial characteristics. The reality is, statistically speaking, the genetic differences between two different geographical populations are the same as the differences within one population. Racial preconceptions will hinder the development of the higher levels of personality functioning, for those perceiving it and those perceived by it. The term “cultural group” is more accurate and acceptable language than using the term “race.” (Axelson, 1998)

Racist attitudes can be used to subtly control and subjugate other groups. Racism plus power equals control. Racism plus power plus control equals intergroup and interpersonal conflict. A perpetuation of racial superiority helps the dominant group maintain things they way they are to keep their advantages over the subdominant groups. These benefits include the gains manifested in personal psychological feelings. Axelson defines culture lag as the period of time it takes for a society to reach one of its valued goals. The elimination of racism may be one of these goals. (Axelson, 1998)

Axelson defines three forms of racism, individual, institutional and cultural. In individual racism, in a circular and reciprocal process, those perceived as inferior may internalize the other’s perception as valid and behave accordingly. The person perceived as inferior may develop a self-fulfilling prophecy in relation to this, until this cycle is broken. Individualistic racist beliefs include those that state that all people are treated fairly and equally and can pull themselves up by themselves, denying the existence of racism entirely and laughing at racist jokes. The effects of individual racism include lowered self-esteem and inadequate self-concept. The Pygmalion effect is a self-fulfilling prophecy where people conform to others’ expectations regardless of their true abilities. Racism may become a state of mind and a set of emotions and values, and a set of behaviors. Individual racist modes range from hostile domination to passive acceptance (defined as avoiding, ignoring or pretending to be correct and polite). In the social changes of the last twenty years, change, like the reduction of outward hostility has occurred, yet more understanding is needed before equal acceptance and good will can occur. (Axelson, 1998)

Institutional forms of racism may include police practices, unemployment, housing and education issues, discriminatory practices and inadequate welfare programs. Cultural racism may show up in the forces behind majority group dominance in deciding what is socially valuable. People tend to take as valuable what is most familiar to them. Prejudiced attitudes can be found in many cultural elements, including language, education, religion, norms of morality, economics and aesthetics. A mental and emotional connection of the majority group with cultural superiority and connecting minority cultures to cultural inferiority makes cultural racism. This is the hardest racism to recognize. Jones states that cultural racism occurs when a race’s achievements are ignored in education and when white Western-European cultural attributes are considered to be without question the best in the world. (Axelson, 1998)

The use of the terms racism and racist may evoke negative responses and may not help improve group relations. It has been proposed that the use of the term “bias” may be more advantageous and may more accurately reflect the actual conditions in society today. Bias may be defined as an unreasoned distortion of a person’s judgement. This may lead to a slanted viewpoint, caused by ignorance and a lack of information. Racism could be defined as representing only extreme conditions. (Axelson, 1998)

But does the use of the term “bias” help to weaken the terminology used to define modern racism. Or perhaps both approaches may be necessary from a psychological perspective. The first, using the term “modern racist,” may wake a person up to the fact that their perspective is racist or at least biased. The second can describe to a biased person that they have a cognitive and emotional bias that needs to change for their growth and societies’ growth as well.

Racism and levels of prejudice can also be measured and discussed in self tests and questionnaires. Brannigan describes an active learning experience which is a slightly modified version of a part of Dunton and Fazio’s Motivation to Control Prejudiced Reactions Scale. The higher the score, the greater the taker’s motivation to control prejudice. Another exercise asks questions about discrimination. The first question asks about a time they felt they were discriminated against and how they felt about it. The second question is prefaced by Devine’s beliefs that one’s decision to renounce prejudice will not immediately eliminate discrimination, but one must overcome a lifetime of socialization experiences first. It is like breaking a bad habit. It takes energy, conscious attention and effort. The second question asks about a time the taker felt they discriminated against someone else. The last question asks about what one can do to reduce prejudice and discrimination. (Brannigan, 2002)

In conclusion, modern racism as defined has had serious deleterious effects on the United States culture and society. These effects are manifested in language, ideas, schools, language policies, economic stratification social segregation, housing markets, hiring and promotional schemas, minority members’ psychological issues and minority access to a variety of social services and opportunities. The development of modern racism, though discouraging, can be seen as a positive development from the perspective of the decline of the more overt forms of racism. However, the lack of knowledge or the denial of the more subtle forms of racism can be extremely detrimental to both majority and minority group members.

The advent and development of the more modern and subtle forms of racism can be seen as a major step change along the road toward the goal of the elimination of overt racism and the total elimination of racism. However, it needs to be fully seen as only a step, albeit a big one in some ways, but one that needs to be moved to the more advanced step of the total elimination of racism. Those that don’t see modern racism or refuse to acknowledge its existence may in essence be blocking the progress toward the step of the total elimination of racism. Or their denial of this step may simply be part of a natural progression of a healthy growth process, where people move from the improvement of almost eliminating overt racism, at least in most parts of society, to where people need to see the next step to progress further.

Ways to educate people to move toward the final step of the total eradication of prejudice and racism may include taking self tests and questionnaires to develop the awareness of their individual biases, promoting views that encourage the acceptance of all cultures and languages as valuable, remembering that overcoming racism, bias and prejudice is like overcoming a bad habit and that one needs to be persistent in their efforts to overcome socially promoted internalized biases, education about the deleterious personal and social effects of racism and the studies that show its pervasive existence and dealing with the psychological issues of personal insecurities to ensure that one is able to accept other cultures. Major steps have been made toward the elimination of racism in the past 40 years. With increased vigilance, hard work and public education, our society should be able to move from the intermediate step of the development of modern racism to the final step of the elimination of racism.

References

American Psychological Association (1993b). Guidelines for providers of psychological services to ethnic, linguistic, and culturally diverse populations. American Psychologist. 48. 45-48. Retrieved January 25, 2003 from http://www.apa.org/pi/oema/guide.html

Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D. & Akert, R. M. (2001). Social psychology (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Axelson, J.A. (1998). Counseling and development in a multicultural society. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

Baker, C. (1995). A parents’ and teachers’ guide to bilingualism. Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters Ltd

Baker, C. (1996). Foundations of Bilingual education and bilingualism (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters Ltd

Brannigan, G. G. (2002). Experiences in social psychology: active learning adventures Boston, MA : Allyn & Bacon

Corey, G., Corey, M. & Callanan, P. (1997). Issues and ethics in the helping professions. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

Freeman, D. E. & Freeman, Y. S. (1994). Between worlds: Access to second language acquisition. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R. (1993). An introduction to language (5th ed.). Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace & Company

Massey, D. S., Fischer, M. J. (1998, December). Where We Live, in Black and White. The Nation. Retrieved December 10, 2003, from http://members.aol.com/digasa/stats5.htm

Myers, D. G. (1993). Social psychology (4th ed). Columbus, OH : McGraw-Hill

Sherman, R. (2000). Tutorial produced for Psy 324, advanced social psychology, spring 2000 at Miami University. Retrieved December 10, 2003 from http://www.units.muohio.edu/psybersite/workplace/modernweb.shtml

Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (1999). Counseling the culturally different: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley & Sons.

Tatum, B. D. (1997). “Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?” New York: Basic Books.

Article about post question 2 analysis and advocacy – The Future of Bilingual Education

October 2, 2008

The Future of Bilingual Education

As an ESL teacher in Holyoke, I was very concerned when I heard there would a ballot question that would eliminate bilingual education for many children. Unfortunately ballot question two (one year English immersion programs) passed in Massachusetts. Question 2 will eliminate bilingual education in many schools across the state.

Almost all of the Hispanics and most of the Anglos I work with were strongly against Question 2. Those serviced by bilingual education voted strongly against Question 2. According to an exit poll survey of 1,200 Latinos, 92% of Hispanics voted against Question 2. In Chinatown in Boston, which is 57% Asian, 67% voted no on Question 2. A nationwide People En Espanol survey of 6,000 Hispanics found that 95 percent of Hispanic respondents back bilingual education. Many of those that wish to have their children in bilingual education programs may not be able to.

I was extremely upset that many teachers would lose the right to teach the way they felt best, to teach the child in their first language until they have mastered English sufficiently to learn in it. Many non-educators mistakenly believe that English immersion works better than bilingual education. In California, since Proposition 227 (their version of our Question 2) passed in 1998, limited English proficient children are falling behind native English speakers on test scores (SAT-9) through grades 2 to 11. Many students are in immersion programs in California for three and four years. Here, many successful bilingual education programs may now be destroyed due to the passing of Question 2.

Many teachers know that it is impossible to learn academic English in one year. We also know that an education program needs to build on a child’s strengths, in this case, their first language. As an immigrant child learns English, they are taught other curriculum topics, such as math and science, in a language they understand, their own language. In Mass, students are in transitional bilingual programs an average of 2.3 years. Without this very necessary bridge program, children forced into English immersion classes will fall behind and many may not succeed in school.

Teachers under Question 2 can be sued without insurance protection and lose their jobs for five years if found guilty of “willfully and repeatedly” refusing to follow Question 2. Teachers that teach a student subject matter in a language other than English, to help the child understand what is going on, could be considered violating this law. During the election, Mitt Romney promised to work with the legislature to remove the enforcement clause that permits lawsuits. Now that he has been elected, he claims this is not necessary, that he will use regulations to discourage these lawsuits.

The legislature will be working on a variety of ways to fix Question 2, so it will not be so disastrous on immigrant children. Please write your state senator and representative and ask them to cosponsor many of the different alternatives in front of the legislature today that will help protect parent rights and effective educational methodologies.

Neil Brick MA Ed. has a website on bilingual education at http://members.aol.com/neilesl and can be reached via E-mail at neilesl@aol.com

Information on the Unz initiative – Massachusetts

October 2, 2008

Information on the “Unz” initiative – MassachusettsAn edited version of this article was originally an editorial published in The Common Purpose, the Holyoke Teachers’ Association (Massachusetts) Newsletter – January 2002 Issue

Neil be reached at neilesl@aol.com

Could You Lose Your Job for Five Years ? by Neil Brick

If the “Unz” initiative is put on the ballot, An Act relative to the teaching of English in Public Schools is put on the ballot and passes in November, 2002, this is possible. In AG Petition #01-11, (http://www.ago.state.ma.us/gov01-12.pdf), Section 2. Definitions (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.” This means that no subject matter whatsoever shall be taught in a child’s first language. Only safety directions could be in a child’s first language.

Furthermore, the penalties for not following these guidelines are extremely harsh. In Section 6. Legal standing and parental enforcement, it is stated, “(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.” “Willfully and repeatedly” could be interpreted as using a child’s first language several times to clarify curriculum concepts the child was unable to understand in English.

Even worse, in the same section, “(c) Parents and legal guardians who apply for and are granted exception waivers under Section 5(b)(3) of this chapter (Children with special individual needs) 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.” In other words, a teacher or a school system could be sued until the child reaches 18.

Proponents of this initiative mention that there are waivers available to place children into bilingual education programs. But these waivers would not cover the majority of children in bilingual programs. In section 5 (b). Parental Waivers, it is stated, “(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… (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…. 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…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.” This means there are only three exceptions where children can be placed in bilingual programs, and in the case of “Children with special individual needs” these children would need to placed in English immersion classrooms the first thirty days of every year, regardless of their needs.

Pedagogically speaking, bilingual programs have been shown to be superior to immersion programs. It makes sense that a teacher would want to teach a child in a language they understand, their first language, until they have fully mastered their second language. Research that backs this claim up include : The Ramirez dataset (Ramirez, Yuen and Ramey, 1991) states, “Spanish speaking students can be provided with substantial amounts of primary language instruction without impeding their acquisition of English language and reading skills….The data suggest that by Grade 6, students provided with English-only instruction may actually fall further behind their English speaking peers. Data also document that learning a second language will take six or more years’.” (Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2nd Ed., Colin Baker, Multilingual Matters Ltd., c 1996 p.213-215)

In a Thomas and Collier study, with findings from five large urban and suburban school districts with more than 700,000 language minority student records from 1982-1996, only quality, long-term, enrichment bilingual programs using current approaches to teaching, such as one-way and two-way developmental bilingual education, when implemented to their full potential, will give language minority students the grade-level cognitive and academic development needed to be academically successful in English, and to sustain their success as they reach their high school years.”(“School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students” – Thomas and Collier, George Mason University – National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, The George Washington University Center for the Study of Language and Education, Washington, D.C.

http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/ncbepubs/resource/effectiveness/index.htm)

More recent research also back up these claims. “Stanford 9 English Scores Show – A Consistent Edge For Bilingual Education – by James Crawford – April 15, 2000 – “In 1998-1999, for the third year in a row, students learning English in bilingual education programs scored significantly higher in [English] reading and language than students enrolled in English Only programs, according to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). The comparison of Stanford 9 achievement test results is found in the ADE’s latest report on the education of English learners in Arizona.” (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/AZscores.htm)

Californians Together: A Roundtable for Quality Education - Bilingual Schools Make Exceptional Gains on the State’s Academic Performance Index (API) Children in Bilingual Education Classes Performed Better in Tests of Academic Achievement Than Students Receiving Most of Their Instruction in English “This study shows that both groups of schools made progress on California’s API from 1999 to 2000. Bilingual schools exceeded their growth targets for Hispanic students by almost five times, while the comparison schools exceeded their targets by only four times. California parents making such important educational decisions for their children should know that students in bilingual education are performing better and are learning English,” said Dr. Norm Gold, who conducted the study at the request of Californians Together. (http://www.californiatomorrow.org/files/pdfs/API_REPORT_PRESS_RELEASE_12-5.PDF )

“Bilingual Education, the Acquisition of English, and the Retention and Loss of Spanish” by Stephen Krashen “What the research shows – A number of studies have shown that bilingual education is effective, with children in well-designed programs acquiring academic English as well and often better than children in all-English programs (Willig, 1985; Cummins, 1989; Krashen, 1996; Greene, 1997)” “Cases like these provide strong support for the principles underlying bilingual education and are confirmed by numerous empirical studies showing that those who have a better education in their primary language excel in English language development (research reviewed in Krashen, 1996).” “Literacy developed in the primary language transfers to the second language.” (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/Krashen7.htm)

Do students “languish” in bilingual education programs? According to Antonio F. D. Cabral, a Democratic state representative, the overwhelming majority of bilingual education students (80 percent) are mainstreamed (into full English classes) in three years or less. Those that aren’t may be in special education or may have little or no education before coming to the United States. He also claims that in the past that this sink or swim approach caused a drop out rate of 80 to 90 percent for ELL’s (English Language Learners), and that this is why transitional bilingual education was originally developed. (Set Higher Standards, SouthCoast Today http://www.s-t.com/daily/05-01/05-16-01/a12op067.htm originally printed in Commonwealth magazine).

Does one year of immersion work ? For most children, it doesn’t. “Prof. David Ramirez of California State University at Long Beach reported that children in immersion were nowhere near ready for the mainstream after one year,” even with 70 percent having some English before they started in school. After first grade (two years of immersion), only 21 percent reached the redesignation (mainstreaming) standard, and after grade 2, 38 percent. Krashen notes that the California Department of Education reports two academic years after 227 (the “immersion” bill) passed, 877,031 (this number is higher now) students in grades two through 11 have been in school for more than one year and are still classified as limited English proficient. (“Are children ready for the mainstream after one year of “structured English immersion?”” Stephen Krashen – TESOL Newsletter (in press)

Efforts are being made in the legislature to improve bilingual education. The research clearly shows that children in good bilingual programs have an advantage over those in immersion programs. Proponents of the immersion initiative have heavy financial backing, so teachers and parents will need to work very hard to get the word out about how bad this initiative is so we will be protected legally and allowed to decide what we feel is best for our children and not have it mandated by others, millionaires in other states and those that haven’t taught in classrooms. There are several groups currently doing this. For further information on this, please feel free to bilingualedmass@yahoogroups.com.

The Bilingual Education Debate

October 2, 2008

This article was written in August, 2001. Since then new data had come out and there are new developments in the field of bilingual education backing up its pedagogical necessity.

I can be reached at neilesl@aol.com

The Bilingual Education Debate by Neil Brick

When I started teaching ESL about six years ago, I hadn’t formed an opinion on bilingual education. I had always enjoyed learning languages and learning about other peoples’ cultures. I found it odd that some of the other teachers in my school would tell their students to not speak Spanish at all in their mainstream (all English) classes, even though the students’ spoke Spanish at home and in their neighborhoods. I didn’t understand why most of the other teachers appeared to have no interest in learning Spanish or the culture of their students. I improved my Spanish at work to the point where I am now almost fluent. Having learned a second language (Spanish), I realized how tiring it must be, especially for a small child, to have to struggle in a second language all day with no breaks.

When students enter the Holyoke School System, they are tested for language dominance and a home language survey is given to the parents, to try to see which language, Spanish or English, is most predominant in their lives. Then a decision is made whether to place them in bilingual education (Spanish and English) or mainstream them (all English). Parents are then notified of this and the fact that they can waiver their child into either program. I have seen children waivered into bilingual against the schools’ recommendations and into mainstreaming as well.

Holyoke itself appears to be a rather segregated society, economically and culturally. Though there is some crossover, for the most part the lower economic strata live in one part of town and the upper in another part of town. The city is also segregated by language (Spanish/English) and culture (Puerto Rican/Anglo). The teachers’ room at our school mirrors this stratification. One side is primarily Anglo and English speaking, the other Puerto Rican and Spanish speaking. For the most part, the Anglo teachers refuse to learn Spanish and a few are even insulted when others speak Spanish around them, claiming it is rude because they don’t understand what is being said. This may or may not be true, but I feel there is in general a lack of understanding of others’ languages and cultures.

Even when outsiders make presentations (even at safety presentations) to the children, often the presenters only speak one language, use big words and speak very fast. There appears to be a lack of understanding as to what level the children are at, and what scaffolding (a step by step development of students’ needs, adding to a student’s knowledge base as they learn the new material) is necessary for children to learn.

While taking the necessary courses to get my ESL certification, I realized that the best way to teach English was to make sure that the childrens’ first oral language and literacy rate is strong. This is because the research shows this, my teaching experiences backed this up and in my opinion, it just makes more sense to teach someone in the language they understand. I decided to write this article partly because I had heard about major changes in bilingual education programs in California and Arizona, with a push toward what is called “Structured English Immersion” or SEI and heard that there was legislation pending in Massachusetts to do this also. Though I do believe the media in Massachusetts has been fairer than most, I have definitely seen a media bias in general against bilingual education, usually not supported by the research. A journal article written in 1996 appears to support my views on this.

In the Bilingual Research Journal (Winter 1996) and article titled, “”Does Research Matter? An Analysis of Media Opinion on Bilingual Education,” concluded that “despite overwhelmingly positive evaluations by researchers of bilingual education programs in the United States, the majority of opinion pieces took positions against such programs.” Writers of the articles they cite didn’t use research to draw their opinions and conclusions. (Vol. 20. No. 1, Pp. 1-27, 1984-1994 McQuillan & Tse, http://courses.ed.asu.edu/casanova/protected/research/research.htm)

Bills Introduced to the Legislature this year

Unfortunately, several bills have been sent to the legislature this year that could be very bad for the students I work with. The elimination of bilingual education could severely hurt their chances for academic success. In the Valley, we have a variety of bilingual learners. Some come from homes where first language literacy skills, such as reading, are not taught. This puts them at a disadvantage when they go to public school. Bilingual education would ensure that they have a better chance to succeed academically, by building on language skills they already have.

A bill presented at the State House this year have promoted SEI (Structured English Immersion – little or no first language used in the classroom) which I believe would be very detrimental to bilingual students. Senate Bill 259, by Guy Glodis, states that with exceptions “every school-aged child shall be taught in English by being taught in English. In particular, this shall require that every school-aged child 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 to exceed one year.” The bill does provide for waivers, parental permission to move children to bilingual education programs. However, schools would no longer be able to place children in the language of study that the research shows is best for them, via the previous process of testing and a home language survey.

In a TESOL (Teachers of English of a Second Language) newsletter, Stephen Krashen, bilingual education researcher, has shown why one year of immersion won’t work. “Prof. David Ramirez of California State University at Long Beach reported that children in immersion were nowhere near ready for the mainstream after one year,” even with 70 percent having some English before they started in school. After first grade (two years of immersion), only 21 percent reached the redesignation standard, and after grade 2, 38 percent. Krashen notes that the California Department of Education reports two academic years after 227 (the “immersion” bill) passed, 877,031 students in grades two through 11 have been in school for more than one year and are still classified as limited English proficient. (“Are children ready for the mainstream after one year of “structured English immersion?”” Stephen Krashen – TESOL Newsletter (in press))

Another bill, H. 2678, is more supportive of bilingual education. It was presented by Antonio F. D. Cabral, a Democratic state representative. This one seems to fit the research and my experience better than the other two. Cabral’s bill would allow for more choice for schools and parents. In his “proposed immersion program, students would spend at least 30 percent of their school hours speaking their native language.” It would also allow for “several models being used in schools around the state… Schools would be allowed to offer “two-way” bilingual programs, in which English-speaking and non-English-speaking students learn each other’s languages.” Education Commissioner David Driscoll agreed with Cabral’s bill in concept. (Students fight for bilingual ed – By David Kibbe, Ottaway News Service – http://www.s-t.com/daily/05-01/05-16-01/a01sr005.htm)

Cabral responded to some of Glodis’ arguments in Commonwealth magazine, “California’s results prove that students in well-implemented bilingual education programs can and do outperform English-language learners in English-immersion programs… Californians Together, an advocacy group, reported that bilingual-program students met or exceeded the performance of all students at the schools used for comparison at most grades and in both reading and mathematics. Sen. Glodis also implies that bilingual education is the cause of a high dropout rate for Latinos. But most Latino students are not in transitional bilingual education. We must conclude that many who drop out are in mainstream (English only) classes.” (http://www.californiatomorrow.org/files/pdfs/API_REPORT_PRESS_RELEASE_12-5.PDF)

He mentioned that the overwhelming majority of bilingual education students (80 percent) are mainstreamed (into full English classes) in three years or less. Those that aren’t may be in special education or may have little or no education before coming to the United States. He claims that in the past that this sink or swim approach caused a drop out rate of 80 to 90 percent for ELL’s (English Language Learners), and that this is why transitional bilingual education was originally developed. (Set Higher Standards, SouthCoast Today http://www.s-t.com/daily/05-01/05-16-01/a12op067.htm originally printed in Commonwealth magazine).

Outside Influences

Another major player in the debate is Ron Unz, multimillionaire founder of a Palo Alto financial services software from California who has financially and ideologically promoted the idea of SEI by law in California (Prop 227) by spending $700,000, Arizona (Prop 203), New York City and now Colorado. He is interested in funding a similar campaign in Massachusetts. He is looking for a groundswell of public support (he claims that polling he did several years ago showed “overwhelming support”) and getting prominent local people involved, but states that hasn’t happened yet. He also mentioned that he wouldn’t want to be the primary funder, since he doesn’t live here, but did offer $200,000 if a lot of support did appear, especially from people with immigrant backgrounds. Unz claims bilingual education doesn’t work “He maintains that conventional approaches of teaching English to immigrant children hold back their progress and make it harder for them to enter the mainstream work world. Critics say Mr. Unz’s ideas feed anti-immigrant sentiment and that immersion is too difficult for students who need more time and support to learn English.” (Bilingual changes need groundswell – 5/22/01 by Shaun Sutner, Worcester Telegram & Gazette Staff).

Unz visited Massachusetts on 7/31/01 to push for the immersion ballot initiative, which would appear on the November 2002 ballot in Massachusetts. He will need to collect 57,100 signatures to place his initiative on the ballot. (These signatures have been collected.) He claims to have found local supporters, including Chelsea High School principal Lincoln Tamayo, from Cuba, and authors of books critical of bilingual education, Rosalie Pedalino Porter, from Italy and Boston University professor Christine Rossell. (“Bilingual ed law gets a new foe – California man joins Mass. ballot crusade” – By Scott S. Greenberger, Boston Globe 7/31/01)

Research Supporting Bilingual Education

There is a great deal of research supporting bilingual education over immersion. “In 1998-1999, for the third year in a row, students learning English in bilingual education programs scored significantly higher in [English] reading and language than students enrolled in English Only programs, according to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE).” (Stanford 9 English Scores Show – A Consistent Edge For Bilingual Education – by James Crawford – 4/15/01, http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/AZscores.htm)

The Ramirez dataset (Ramirez, Yuen and Ramey, 1991) states, “Spanish speaking students can be provided with substantial amounts of primary language instruction without impeding their acquisition of English language and reading skills….The data suggest that by Grade 6, students provided with English-only instruction may actually fall further behind their English speaking peers. Data also document that learning a second language will take six or more years’.” (Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2nd Ed., Colin Baker, Multilingual Matters Ltd., c 1996 p.213-215)

In a Thomas and Collier study, with findings from five large urban and suburban school districts with more than 700,000 language minority student records from 1982-1996, “examination of language minority students’ achievement over a 1-4 year period is too short-term and leads to an inaccurate perception of students’ actual long-term performance, especially when these short-term studies are conducted in the early years of school.” They focused on getting data from all grades, looking at the “academic achievement data in the last years of high school serving as the most important measures of academic success in our study.”

They found that “only quality, long-term, enrichment bilingual programs using current approaches to teaching, such as one-way and two-way developmental bilingual education, when implemented to their full potential, will give language minority students the grade-level cognitive and academic development needed to be academically successful in English, and to sustain their success as they reach their high school years.” This study backs up the findings of the Ramirez (1991) study. (“School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students” – Thomas and Collier, George Mason University – National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, The George Washington University Center for the Study of Language and Education, Washington, D.C. http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/ncbepubs/resource/effectiveness/index.htm)

In conclusion, I believe the data and theory strongly point to the use of two way or long term bilingual education programs over early exit and SEI programs. This data contradicts those that feel that students fall behind in long term bilingual programs. It is very unfortunate that the media and others have often consistently chose to ignore this data and instead have promoted the curtailing or the elimination of bilingual education. Hopefully in Massachusetts SEI will not be mandated by law as it has in other states. It will probably take a strong political and informational advocacy effort to save bilingual education in Massachusetts, but I believe this is possible.

A good source for information on bilingual education is Mass English Plus Coalition, E-mail: maengplus@aol.com, Phone: (617) 457-8885, 126 High Street, Boston, MA 02110, http://www.massenglishplus.org/content/Education/Bilingual_Education/Demythifying%20Bilingual%20Education.htm

A group is for people trying to get the facts out about bilingual education in Massachusetts is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BilingualEdMass , To subscribe : BilingualEdMass-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Neil Brick has a Master’s in Elementary Education from Simmons College, Boston

Myths and Realities about Bilingual Education

October 2, 2008

Myths and Realities about Bilingual Education Prepared by Neil Brick, E-mail : neilesl@aol.com

Myth : Bilingual Education doesn’t work.

Reality : Good bilingual education programs work really well. Research has shown that students in bilingual education programs score higher in English than those in immersion programs.

Pedagogically speaking, bilingual programs have been shown to be superior to immersion programs. It makes sense that a teacher would want to teach a child in a language they understand, their first language, until they have fully mastered their second language. Research that backs this claim up include : The Ramirez dataset (Ramirez, Yuen and Ramey, 1991) states, “Spanish speaking students can be provided with substantial amounts of primary language instruction without impeding their acquisition of English language and reading skills….The data suggest that by Grade 6, students provided with English-only instruction may actually fall further behind their English speaking peers. Data also document that learning a second language will take six or more years’.” (Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2nd Ed., Colin Baker, Multilingual Matters Ltd., c 1996 p.213-215)

In a Thomas and Collier study, with findings from five large urban and suburban school districts with more than 700,000 language minority student records from 1982-1996, only quality, long-term, enrichment bilingual programs using current approaches to teaching, such as one-way and two-way developmental bilingual education, when implemented to their full potential, will give language minority students the grade-level cognitive and academic development needed to be academically successful in English, and to sustain their success as they reach their high school years.”(“School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students” – Thomas and Collier, George Mason University – National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, The George Washington University Center for the Study of Language and Education, Washington, D.C. http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/ncbepubs/resource/effectiveness/index.htm)

More recent research also back up these claims. “Stanford 9 English Scores Show – A Consistent Edge For Bilingual Education – by James Crawford – April 15, 2000 – “In 1998-1999, for the third year in a row, students learning English in bilingual education programs scored significantly higher in [English] reading and language than students enrolled in English Only programs, according to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). The comparison of Stanford 9 achievement test results is found in the ADE’s latest report on the education of English learners in Arizona.” (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/AZscores.htm)

Californians Together: A Roundtable for Quality Education - Bilingual Schools Make Exceptional Gains on the State’s Academic Performance Index (API) Children in Bilingual Education Classes Performed Better in Tests of Academic Achievement Than Students Receiving Most of Their Instruction in English “This study shows that both groups of schools made progress on California’s API from 1999 to 2000. Bilingual schools exceeded their growth targets for Hispanic students by almost five times, while the comparison schools exceeded their targets by only four times. California parents making such important educational decisions for their children should know that students in bilingual education are performing better and are learning English,” said Dr. Norm Gold, who conducted the study at the request of Californians Together. (http://www.californiatomorrow.org/files/pdfs/API_REPORT_PRESS_RELEASE_12-5.PDF )

“Bilingual Education, the Acquisition of English, and the Retention and Loss of Spanish” by Stephen Krashen “What the research shows – A number of studies have shown that bilingual education is effective, with children in well-designed programs acquiring academic English as well and often better than children in all-English programs (Willig, 1985; Cummins, 1989; Krashen, 1996; Greene, 1997)” “Cases like these provide strong support for the principles underlying bilingual education and are confirmed by numerous empirical studies showing that those who have a better education in their primary language excel in English language development (research reviewed in Krashen, 1996).” “Literacy developed in the primary language transfers to the second language.” (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JWCRAWFORD/Krashen7.htm)

Myth : Students “languish” in Bilingual Education programs.

Reality : According to Antonio F. D. Cabral, a Democratic state representative, the overwhelming majority of bilingual education students (80 percent) are mainstreamed (into full English classes) in three years or less. Those that aren’t may be in special education or may have little or no education before coming to the United States. He also claims that in the past that this sink or swim approach caused a drop out rate of 80 to 90 percent for ELL’s (English Language Learners), and that this is why transitional bilingual education was originally developed. (Set Higher Standards, SouthCoast Today http://www.s-t.com/daily/05-01/05-16-01/a12op067.htm originally printed in Commonwealth magazine).

Myth : Bilingual Education is to blame for low test scores.

Reality : Looking at the 2000 MCAS grade 10 test scores shows that in Avon, Fairhaven, Gardner and Holbrook (all districts WITHOUT bilingual education), more than 50% of students failed the MCAS. Nearly identical scores were recorded for English Language Learners in bilingual programs in Brockton and Lynn. (META – Information Sheet – Roger Rice – 617-628-2226) Ninety-two percent of Framingham’s third-graders in the bilingual and ESL programs passed the MCAS this year (2001), compared with 93 percent of all students statewide. (Further information on the Framingham Bilingual Program is available at : (http://www.lab.brown.edu/public/NABE/portraits.taf?_function=detail&Data_entry_uid1=33)

Myth : California Test Scores prove that immersion is superior to bilingual education.

Reality : Research shows that since 1998, Stanford 9 test scores have shown a widening gap between non English fluent and English fluent students. In other words, test scores for both populations are increasing, perhaps due to increased test preparation. But non-English fluent learners are falling behind English fluent learners, since Prop. 227 passed. (http://www.latinosonline.com/cabe/showarticle.cfm?titleID=579 – Denis O’Leary, League of United Latin American Citizens – Far West Region – (805) 815-4442)

Myth : One year of immersion works.

Reality : Children are being held in immersion classes for several years. “Prof. David Ramirez of California State University at Long Beach reported that children in immersion were nowhere near ready for the mainstream after one year,” even with 70 percent having some English before they started in school. After first grade (two years of immersion), only 21 percent reached the redesignation (mainstreaming) standard, and after grade 2, 38 percent.” (“Are children ready for the mainstream after one year of “structured English immersion?”” Stephen Krashen – TESOL Newsletter (in press) (a total 992,126 limited English immigrant students in grades 2 through 11 have failed to become mainstreamed in English only classes after the third year of the passage of Prop. 227 – see LULAC above).

Other resources on bilingual education :

Office of Bilingual Education and Language Services, 26 Court St. 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108

“Condemned Without A Trial – Bogus Arguments Against Bilingual Education” Stephen D. Krashen – Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH, http://www.heinemann.com

Portraits of Success – National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) – information on successful bilingual districts is at : http://www.lab.brown.edu/public/NABE/portraits.taf

Leave No Child Behind : The Campaign to Preserve Flexibility and Choice in Education, P O Box 120-0089, Boston, MA 02112-0089 fax 617-482-4355

Mass English Plus Coalition, E-mail: maengplus@aol.com, (617) 457-8885, 126 High Street, Boston, MA 02110, http://www.massenglishplus.org/content/Education/Bilingual_Education/Demythifying%20Bilingual%20Education.htm


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