Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sen. Escutia takes a stand

California School Board
Recent letters by ex governors and recent letters to the Bee by ex staff members of the California Board of Education reveal one of the conflicts presently confronting the State Board.
Only poorly educated monolinguals, like the majority on the State Board, would cling to the notion that you can teach a child to read using materials in a language the child does not understand by simply repeating the lesson over and over. Anyone who speaks a second language knows that you must have comprehension.
Yes, the voters have imposed an English immersion program on the state. And current evidence is that it has not improved English learning nor reading scores in California. But even if you insist on English immersion, the student must be provided with comprehension assistance while learning English.
The request by teachers was to enhance the reading books with specific instructions for students who need to learn English. The debate is over English materials.
The State Board in a high handed and ideological driven decision refused to provide students with materials with these aids to comprehension.
Thank you Sen. Escutia for your willingness to take a stand.

Dr. Duane E. Campbell
Professor of Education
CSU-Sacramento
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