Damian Tryon checked a little box when he registered his son Ethan for kindergarten. It indicated that the family predominantly spoke Spanish at home.
At the time, Tryon had no idea his son would be classified as an English-learner, and that the designation would follow his son for years, having a profound impact on his education.
It’s been difficult, Tryon said, to simply tell the school district his son is bilingual and that’s not, itself, a major problem.
This week, hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn take a new approach to the podcast by weaving Damian and Ethan’s story into the larger question of how our city, state and country is educating English-learners.
In November, voters will weigh the California Multilingual Education Act. The measure would essentially gut Proposition 227, the controversial statue that banned bilingual education in most classrooms unless parents specifically opt in.
Conor Williams, the founding director of the nonprofit New America’s dual language learner national work group, joins the show to provide some statistics and context on the issue. Williams drops a bombshell when he shares which state is actually leading the way when it comes to its approach to English-learners.