good times local news media events catalyst santa cruz california metro silicon valley news local events san jose weekly pajaronian watsonville local newspaper, news events pajaro valley california gilroy dispatch local news events garlic festival santa cruz media events local california weekly king city rustler newspaper media local events car sales buy new car media
50.7 F
Hollister
English English Spanish Spanish
May 24, 2022

District forfeits needs of young students

The people of Hollister should be aware of the latest decision
made by the administration of Hollister School District that will
seriously, adversely affect our students. Before the start of the
school year, all Spanish curriculum was removed from RO Hardin and
Calaveras Schools, the two schools that serve the highest numbers
of English Language Learners. Teachers in these two schools have
been forbidden to instruct Spanish speaking students in their
native language.
The people of Hollister should be aware of the latest decision made by the administration of Hollister School District that will seriously, adversely affect our students. Before the start of the school year, all Spanish curriculum was removed from RO Hardin and Calaveras Schools, the two schools that serve the highest numbers of English Language Learners. Teachers in these two schools have been forbidden to instruct Spanish speaking students in their native language.

The purpose of this edict is purportedly to help “close the gap” between performance English Language Learners (ELLs) and native Englush speakers, to decrease the dropout rate, and to help ensure that students educated in our schools will be prepared to pass the high school exit exam in 10th grade. All fine goals, but are not likely to be reached by these means.

First, the data needs to be more carefully collected and examined before claiming that ELLs are not having their needs met due to bilingual instruction. We have students who came out of bilingual education in our Accelerated Achievement Academy, who are competing with their native-English speaking peers. On the other hand, students who enroll in our schools without knowing a word of English miss valuable instruction in core curriculum for the first three years of school while they are struggling to learn enough academic English, unless they are able to access that information in their native tongue while they are learning English.

Second, there are many causes for the high dropout rate in California, and for many students a primary cause is the disconnect between the students and the educational institution. Students do not see our educational system as pertinent or relevent to them. Will eliminating instruction in their native language at an earlier age help to remedy this disconnect? Will the curriculum become more accessible and pertinent to a child who cannot understand the language in which it is being taught? Would a native English speaker connect to a curriculum that is taught in Russian?

Third, many years of reliable research has shown that students coming out of a good bilingual program actually outscore students from regular, English-only programs, even students who were native speakers of English! The fact is that HSD has not allowed teachers to deliver a full bilingual program for many years, and therefore has not reraped the benefits.

It is shameful that Hollister School District has utterly forfeited the needs of the children in our charge in favor of test scores. This dictates flies in the face of research as well as what we, as compassionate teachers, know is in the best interest of the children of our community.

Ronna Gilani is a teacher with the Hollister School District.

Please leave a comment

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

SOCIAL MEDIA

4,205FansLike
150FollowersFollow
1,121FollowersFollow