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Bilingual Teachers Largely Unaffected in Dallas Layoffs

By Mary Ann Zehr — October 24, 2008 1 min read
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Dallas school superintendent Michael Hinojosa has protected almost all bilingual teachers from recent layoffs, according to the Dallas Morning News (via Colorin colorado).

Mr. Hinojosa explains in the article that students’ needs required him to keep as many bilingual teachers as possible. It says he has had a role in beefing up bilingual education in Dallas by hiring more bilingual teachers. Keep in mind that bilingual education is required at the elementary school grades in Texas, if school districts enroll at least 20 English-language learners with the same native language at the same grade level. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Gilda Alvarez Evans, the district’s director of multi-language enrichment programs, said before Dr. Hinojosa's arrival, DISD professed to provide traditional bilingual education, but essentially offered “ESL [English as a second language] in costume,” with instruction essentially conducted in English.

I can see why it’s hard for researchers to study these various kinds of educational methods, when what’s occurring on the ground may be very different than what the name of a program implies.

And while we’re talking about bilingual education in Texas, I’ll refer you to an interesting Texas Politics blog entry picked up on this week over at Educational Equity, Politics & Policy in Texas. It claims Texas school districts aren’t complying with the bilingual education law on the books because they don’t provide bilingual education for ELLs who aren’t Spanish-speaking. The blog entry says that 14,000 students in Texas speak Vietnamese, but they don’t receive bilingual education--and it claims Vietnamese parents don’t want bilingual education for their children.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.