Eddie Caballero, principal of Sherman Elementary, a bilingual immersion program in Sherman Heights, accomplished something never before tried in San Diego Unified. He created a successful bilingual immersion school that educates native English and Spanish speakers alike.
Bilingual immersion schools have existed in the district since the ’70s. But prior to 2008, when Sherman opened, they catered to affluent and middle-class English-speaking students whose parents wanted them to pick up another language.
Last year, 84 percent of Sherman students reclassified by the time they left fifth grade, which means they demonstrated fluency in English. Sherman students also bested district and state test score averages, upending old assumptions about what English-learning students are capable of academically.
So it surprised me, when I met with Caballero in August, that he had mixed feelings about Proposition 58, a statewide ballot measure passed by voters in November that makes it easier for schools to mount bilingual programs.
It wasn’t that Caballero doesn’t support bilingual programs. Eight years of rising test scores and improved enrollment at Sherman demonstrates his commitment.
What concerned Caballero about Prop. 58 was that he knows growing a strong program takes time and patience. He worried that making it easier to open bilingual schools would entice school districts and principals to rush to open bilingual schools without laying the foundation for a successful program.
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Bilingual education implies that kids take in their subjects in their local dialect while learning English. This is the best of all universes since when English develops http://www.finestassignments.co.uk/ ; they have not fallen behind in their insight base. Tragically this is an extravagance and is generally just given in overwhelming remote dialects, for example, Spanish. It is likewise costly.
"Incentivizing teachers to seek bilingual credentials – either through financial compensation, or other means – may be in a step in the right direction." I agree wholeheartedly with this.
Another step in the right direction would be including teacher voice in pieces such as these since this is the VOSD. Maybe an interview with ANY of the teachers that helped start the trilingual program in Lakeside 10 years ago, instead of just looking at us as supply for demand. Education viewed strictly with a business lens negates the charitable public good teachers contribute to.
We let administration speak for all, especially when there is success, but teachers are at the front lines. VOSD, teachers matter.
Why does other immigrant groups with other languages succeed with immersion?
Bilingual education is a gift for the teacher unions, not the students.
There are so many benefits to a bilingual program. Children learn sounds and letters that compare to what high school students used to learn in latin. The connections to language are immeasurable. The success bilingual students, however, can be measured in a much deeper understanding of various texts.
But, bilingual education carries a lot of baggage because of the toxic environment we live in. And, that toxicity has been around for more than 100 years. And, among the many things it carries is a preconception by two powerful groups. Those that look globally(literally) and those that look only nationally. The problem is selling the idea that Americans are people from all over the world, and are, thereby, global.
But, like everything else in the U.S.A., those that carry a mental agenda of profit understand that the thing that is basic to success is marketability and getting the product properly presented. Education does an extraordinarily poor job marketing itself. Education in California is the best in the world. But, you know it by the horrible press it gets.
The number of qualified real teachers in bilingual education is huge. And, it has been huge for more than 40 years. The problem is tapping into this resource...again. Proposition 227 has hurt the effort to recruit qualified personnel. So, it will take time to ramp up, as it were, the necessary streams to restart what was, contrary to popular belief, a fabulous bilingual offering.
Those that claim bilingual education was just a justification to teach in Spanish, or whatever. Wrong. Bilingual education was a launch pad to understanding language....period. Children do make those connections. Why would it be detrimental to have a child understand, at a profound level, the nuance of language in the books written by Alexandre Dumas or Miguel de Unamuno?
And, for those that are sticklers for grammar should rejoice in understanding that learning language actually improves grammatically correct writing.
It really gets down to our educational institutions ramping up programs long neglected. Not has changed, except the facility to accelerate learning through available technology.
Here's a question for those that think learning another language or improving on a language undermines U.S. supremacy. If your child had an opportunity to be accepted to the Monterrey School of Languages, would you say, no?