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Conflict Concerning Non-English Learners
Conflict Concerning English Language Learners
According to Bank Street College of Education (2009), by the year 2020 over one out of every three children will come from homes where English is not the primary language. In just New York City alone, there are over 100 different languages present in the public school system (Bank Street College of Education, 2009).
Many individuals claim that the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution guarantees educational rights of minorities and immigrants. That the United States government guarantees “that no State can make or enforce any law abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens; nor deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor deny equal protection of the laws”. However, a growing amount of states is starting to cut out bilingual education programs within public schools.
For example, Proposition 227, Article II, Section 8, is also commonly referred to as the English Language in Public Schools Statue, eliminated many bilingual education programs. Proposition 227 stated that there should be special classes which teaches children English, which usually does not last longer than a year, then the student should move to the primary classrooms. However, critics of this proposition state this bill is unfair to children who do not speak English as a first language, since they are placed in classrooms not able to fully understand the teacher and their assignments.
Another example of a law that is concerned with bilingual educational programs is the No Child Left Behind Act. This act reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which is involved with federal funding of grades kindergarten to 12th grade. However, many critics of this law claim that the NCLB act is contradictory of bilingual education, placing high standardized testing standards in English on children who do not speak much, or any of English. Then when the schools receive low scores on the standardized tests, the school makes less money, and then are forced to cut programs, many times the bilingual education programs.
To conclude, there have been an increasing amount of laws which either abandon bilingual educational programs, heavily limit them, or are completely contrary to them. However, while the adults argue whether they are for these laws or against them, the ones that are really suffering are the children. Many children do not speak English, or know English as a second language, and they need an education just as any other child does.
English Language Learners. (2009, April 18). Retrieved April 18, 2009, from http://www.bnkst.edu/literacyguide
United States Department of Education. (2009, April 18). No Child Left Behind - ED. Gov. Retrieved April 18, 2009, from http://www.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml