for bilingual ed
York Daily News
May 9th, 2003, Friday
By ALISON GENDAR DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Hispanic advocates say they fear Chancellor Joel Klein is secretly working to
dismantle the city's bilingual program as part of his schools overhaul.
was given a March 15 deadline by Mayor Bloomberg to come up with a reform
blueprint, hasn't "made [up] his mind yet" on bilingual education, the mayor
we're trying to do, what he's trying to do, is to look at examples around the
country where they have different kinds of approaches to deal with the fact that
not all of our students speak English," Bloomberg said.
advocacy group members who have met with Klein's deputy Diana Lam fear he plans
to scrap many of the city's bilingual programs - where students are taught in
English and their native languages - and replace them with more English-only
concerned because while Deputy Lam says she is a proponent of dual language
programs ... the solution most students will get is a few periods of English
instruction a day," said Shelley Rappaport, a policy analyst with the Hispanic
Federation in Manhattan.
said Lam has told advocates the city's English as a Second Language program was
more effective than the bilingual programs, according to a recent department
programs, students get a period or two of English instruction but spend the rest
of the school day in regular classrooms. Some advocates call this a sink-or-swim
last two years, under Mayors [Rudy] Giuliani and Bloomberg, the New York City
Department of Education has overseen a dramatic shift of children from bilingual
classes to ESL classes, and a failure to hire an adequate number of certified
bilingual and ESL teachers," said Luis Reyes, an assistant professor at Hunter
other advocates noted that the city is required to provide certain kinds of
bilingual instruction as a result of court decisions.
an Education Department spokesman, said Lam was a vigorous advocate of dual
language instruction but that no decision had been made.