Author and education expert Ruby Takanishi joins the show to talk about a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that examined the most effective ways to educate English-learners.

San Diego sits at a binational crossroads, perfectly positioned to provide bilingual job candidates in a variety of fields. But local employers still struggle to find qualified bilingual candidates. Employers, language experts and teachers point to one root cause for the disconnect: a public education system that has restricted bilingual education for the past 18 years.

For 18 years, state law in California restricted bilingual education and taught students like me that knowing two languages was a disadvantage. In November, those restrictions were lifted. Now, as school districts across the state grapple with whether to expand bilingual education, they have the chance to show students they don’t have to give up their identity and native language to find success.

Patricia Gándara, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, rejects the framing offered by those who oppose Prop. 58, a statewide ballot measure that would make it easier to open bilingual education programs. High graduation rates and learning multiple languages are not mutually exclusive, she says.

The Learning Curve is a weekly column that answers questions about schools using plain language. Have a question about how your local schools work? Write me at Mario.Koran@voiceofsandiego.org. ♦♦♦ This November, voters will have a chance to shape the future of bilingual education in California – again. Tucked among the 17 state ballot initiatives voters will […]

Bilingual students may be San Diego’s greatest natural resource. More than one in five students in San Diego County speaks another language at home. This group, 80 percent of them native Spanish speakers, will soon be the base of the local workforce. At a time when a growing number of employers is looking for bilingual professionals, […]