Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sen. Escutia: This isn't bilingual education

This isn't bilingual ed
Re "Latest from the school policy sausage machine," Peter Schrag, July 12: Schrag's article misinforms the public about the debate between the state Board of Education and the Legislature. What is being called for are textbooks, written in English, that give guidance to teachers on how to teach the state's standards to all students, regardless of a student's ability to understand English. It is a red herring to claim that this proposal has any association with bilingual education or lowering the state's academic standards.
For months, a broad coalition of education groups, including the California School Boards Association, the Association of California School Administrators and 40 school districts, have expressed to the state board the urgent need for textbooks that uphold the state's academic standards and also accelerate English acquisition. Senate Bill 1769 responds to their plea by providing a curriculum option that is aligned to the state's standards, systematically develops English fluency and is written to be useful for all levels of English speakers.

The aim of California's accountability system is to hold schools responsible for student performance. The state must support schools by providing multiple and rigorous textbook options so educators can choose the best tool to teach their students English and the academic content every student should know.

- Martha M. Escutia, Sacramento
State Senator, D-Whittier

Letters; Sacramento Bee. Monday
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