Legislation

Topics: United States, United Kingdom, Second language Pages: 3 (907 words) Published: September 18, 2014
It’s All About the Law

School diversity is not a surprise as presently a large number of the educational population is comprised of students from many different cultural backgrounds. According to research conducted by Education Week (2011) there was a large growth of English language learners in the United Sates over the 21st century. This rise mandated the need for public schools throughout the nation to assist English language learners with the instruction of special language. Legislation has provided the rise of laws that mandate states to provide quality education to English language learners. With these laws and initiatives arise issues, challenges, and benefits.

In the case Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) Supreme Court Jude James McReynolds penned, “The protection of the United States Constitution extends to all, to those who speak other languages as well as to those born with English on the tongue" (Walsh, 2009). This legal decision provided parents with a constitutional right to influence and strengthen the education of their children. The law evolved as a result of the state of Nebraska preventing any curriculum that was not English based. This was later deemed unconstitutional and therefore the law evolved. The State of California in June of 1998 passed Proposition 227, also known as the English in Public Schools Initiative (1999). With the evolution of this legislation came a change in the way Limited English Proficient students were taught. This legislation not only decreased the amount of time these students stayed in special classes, it required California public schools to educate this population of students in special classes that are taught nearly in all English (1999). Drafted by Ron Unz, California Proposition 227 eliminated bilingual classes in a lot of cases. This legislation also ended a great deal of programs in the state of California that previously established special classes to this population over a several year span...

References: Jenkins, A. F. (2008). ETS symposium targets ELL assessment. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher
Education, 18(14), 28,30-31.
Krashen, S. 2012. Did immersion triumph in Arizona? Culver City, CA: Language Education
Association
Olsen, L. (2010). Changing course for long term English learners. Leadership, 40(2), 30-33.
Walsh, M. (2009). ELLs and the law: Statutes, precedent. Education Week, 28(17), 8- 9.
Walsh, M. (2011). Research center: English-Language Learners. Education Week. Retrieved
September 18, 2012 from https://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/english-language-learners.
Zehr, M. A. (2008). NAEP scores in states that cut bilingual ed. fuel concern on ELLs.
Education Week, 27(37), 10.
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