Bilingual ed delay sparks harsh words
New York Daily News
June 6, 2003
By JOE WILLIAMS DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein are nearly three months behind
schedule in announcing their controversial plans to overhaul bilingual education
- delays that could make school difficult for non-English-speaking children next
fall, advocates charged yesterday.
"It's time for the administration to give us some details about this program,"
said City Councilman John Liu (D-Queens).
At a speech on Martin Luther King Day, Bloomberg promised to announce his plan
in 60 days.
With the mid-March deadline long past and the end of the school year
approaching, teachers and students have no idea what's going to happen come
fall, said Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum.
"I hope this doesn't turn into a fiasco in September when children return to
school," she said.
At a hearing before the City Council Education Committee last month, Klein said
he had given his report to Bloomberg and was waiting for the mayor to make an
Rumors have been swirling in the schools that Bloomberg is looking to steer more
children from bilingual programs that teach students in their native languages
and toward programs that immerse foreign speakers in English.
Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman for Klein, said yesterday that plans for reforming the
program would be unveiled soon.
"We are moving forward to implement an effective English-language-learner
program that will enable our children to learn vital educational skills, and we
will be discussing the details of our plan shortly," he said.
Originally published on June 6, 2003