Daily Archive for April 20th, 2009

ELLs deserve effective teaching, too

The US Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Flores v. State of Arizona, a case that captures important concerns about contemporary education in the US. Plantiff argues that English-language Learner (ELL) programs are deficient and receive inadequate funding, violating a provision of a US federal law (the Equal Educational Opportunity Act; EEOA) requiring that states ensure that students for whom English is not a first language can learn how to speak English and, thus, benefit from education.

The class-action case gets its name from Miriam Flores, an elementary student in the 1990s, who had limited English proficiency (LEP) and did not benefit from the ELL services during her primary schooling. US National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg reported Ms. Flores recollections (she is now 22 and a student at the University of Arizona):

“It was quite a disadvantage, definitely,” Flores says. “For example, even when it comes to math, I mean problem solving, they were all in English. So in order to understand, you need to be proficient in your reading in English.”
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