Teaching and Learning: English for Speakers of Other Languages
"Limited-English Proficient (LEP)" means a student 3 years old through 21 years old enrolled in an elementary school or secondary school who:
· Was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;
· Is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency; or
· Is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, or who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant and whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the student the:
o Ability to meet the State's proficient level of achievement on State assessments
o Ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English
o Opportunity to participate fully in society.
COMAR 13A01.04.02 Definitions
Language Instruction for Immigrant and Non-English Speaking Children
Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 provides Federal financial support to state and local educational agencies to offer English Language instruction in order to ensure that all English Language Learners, including immigrant children and youth, attain English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards as all children are expected to meet.
Title III, Secs. 3101, 3102Part A
To comply with these requirements, the Title III office of the Maryland State Department of Education works with local school districts to ensure that quality, research based ESL programs are offered to language minority students
Private School Participation
In addition the No Child Left Behind Act requires that funds awarded to SEAs and LEAs under Title III be used equitably taking into account the number and educational needs of private school children as compared to the funds used for public school children served under Title III.
Title lX, Part E, Secs. 9501-9506
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA) explicitly provides in § 1703(d) that "discrimination by an educational agency on the basis of race, color or national origin in the employment of faculty or staff" constitutes a denial of equal educational opportunity.
648 F.2d 989; 1981 U.S. App. LEXIS 12063. June 23, 1981
Students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.
Lau v. Nichols (1974)
No state shall deny equal educational opportunity to an individual on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, by the failure of an educational agency to take appropriate action to overcome languages barriers that impede equal participation by its students in its instructional programs.
Equal Educational Opportunities Act (1974)
According to the ruling in Plyer v. Doe, undocumented students have the right to attend public schools and participate in all school activities. Moreover, school officials are not allowed to require children or their parents to prove that they are in this country legally, through evidence such as green cards, citizenship papers or social security numbers. Nevertheless, many school systems in the country deny access to undocumented students as standard practice -- either due to lack of awareness of the law or for reasons based on prejudice (The Mid-Atlantic Equity Center, 2000).
Plyer V. Doe, 1982; Price et al., 1988.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
"No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from partiicpation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to distrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
May 25 Memorandum
"Where inability to speak and understand the English language excludes national origin-minority group children from effective participation in the educational program offered by a school district, the district must take affirmative steps to rectify the language deficiency in order to open its instructional program to these students.
"School districts must not assign national origin-minority group students to classes for the mentally retarded on the basis of criteria which essentially measure or evaluate English language skills....."
".....nor may school districts deny national origin-minority group children access to college preparatory courses on basis directly related to the failure of the school system to inculcate (teach) English language skills."
"School districts have the responsibility to adequately notify origin-minority group parents of school activities which are called to the attention of other parents. Such notice in order to be adequate may have to be provided in a language other than English."
Lau v. Nichols
Equitable v. Equal-Equality of educational opportunity is not achieved by merely providing all students with "the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.
Provides a legal basis for programming
Form/convene a Language Assessment Committee
Outline staff responsibilities and credentials for instruction
Identify assessment/evaluative tools for on-going assessment
Set program criteria (entrance/exit)
Set parameters for ELL student transition and monitoring
Determine program effectiveness
Castaneda v. Pickard
A program for English language learners is based on educational theory that is recognized by experts in the field-research based, pedagogically sound
Relationship between theory and practices
Program produces results that indicate the language barrier is being overcome