English non-learners in LA

Nearly 30 percent of Los Angeles Unified students placed in English learning classes in primary school haven’t moved to the mainstream by the start of high school, reports the Los Angeles Times. These English non-learners are likely to drop out of high school.

More than half of those students were born in the United States and three-quarters had been in the school district since first grade, according to the report by the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute at USC.

Many of these students speak English as their preferred language but don’t read or write well in English — or Spanish.  Their below-average scores put them in English language classes — the same instruction,  year after year —  that don’t help them learn academic content. I’ve written about California’s failure to move students into the mainstream in Education Week and for the Lexington Institute here and here.

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  1. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    Thank goodness for Proposition 227 in California, ending the ‘bilingual education’ mandate in most public school districts. ‘Bilingual education’ was neither bilingual, nor an adequate education. The Left simply wanted monolingual Spanish to predominate and put the burden of teaching the mostly Latino students’ heritage and culture to Uncle Sam, state, and local governments, instead of the family or community, as most Asian immigrant students have done (ie. privately funded Thai or Korean Saturday school). Supreme Court cases, such as Lau v. Nichols (1974) were reinterpreted and perverted by leftist judges to include all day ‘bilingual’ instruction, funded by the taxpayers, of course. Whatever happened to “E Pluribus Unum”????

  2. 1) The majority of these kids have no interest in moving out of these sheltered classes. They are in small classes, with friends they have known since kindergarden and have very low expectations to meet.

    2) Most of these kids are failing not to due to language issues, but academic issues. As the article points out many if not most of them are born in the United States, and grow up speaking English. But when they were enrolled in kindergarden, their parents checked off the “Spanish spoken in the home” box.

  3. Cardinal Fang says:

    Great. Illiterate in two languages.

  4. Richard Aubrey says:

    I may have said this before. I have a relation who is big in the hospitality business. His view of “bilingual ed” is that it’s designed by the big hotel chains to provide them with a source of cheap labor. These folks couldn’t conceivably get any other job, so that keeps the wages down.
    Other than a perverse desire among educrats to see these folks fail, my relation’s suspicion is as good as any I’ve heard.


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