Sunday, March 05, 2006

English Language Learners in California

Hon. Martha Escutia,
California State Senate

Dear Senator Escutia,
Thank you for your recent letter in which you and 3 other Latino legislators ask for support of one candidate for Governor. We will consider your request and his record.
In the meantime, may we point out to you in your role as Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus that the California schools are in crisis. We have a Latino drop out rate of nearly 50%. Latino high school graduates read at about the same level as Anglo 13 year olds.
Further, it is starkly noticeable that back in 1976 there were 5 Latinos in the California legislature and we were able to pass comprehensive bilingual education to assist immigrant students. Now, we have some 26 Latino legislators and you are not even able to be certain that English Language Learners have materials to assist them to learn English. Instead they are given materials designed for fluent English speakers. See the current issue before the California Curriculum Commission of the State Board of Education to provide appropriate materials for English Language Learners.
We hope that the Latino Caucus finds it voice and focuses on matters of importance to our children.

Cordially,

Dr. Duane E. Campbell Dolores Delgado-Campbell
Professor of Education Professor of History
CSU- Sacramento American River College
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