Bilingual Education Act Of 1968 Essay

1561 Words Jul 23rd, 2016 null Page
The Bilingual Education Act of 1968 arose out of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. For the first time, the federal government would be funding school districts that had linguistic minorities with Limited English Proficiency. Those students would have access to programs that would help them gain English-language proficiency. A little over a decade later, however, a backlash began. Critics claimed students would be better off in mainstream classes where they would learn English more quickly. Since then, states such as Arizona, California, and Massachusetts have passed propositions legislating English-only immersion programs. The Bilingual Education Act expired in 2002. In its place, we have the English Language Acquisition Act with an emphasis on English-only programs (Grooms, 2011).
In the past three decades, we have seen more than a doubling of the number of children aged 5 to 17 who speak a language other than English at home (“FACT SHEET,” 2016). Nine percent of our K-12 students are English Language Learners enrolled in programs that help them achieve English-language proficiency (“Number and percentage,” 2012). Although English has never been the official language of the United States, it is by far the dominant one. To assure the success of all our students, it is important they acquire English-language proficiency. Interestingly enough, this is the one thing upon which critics and supporters of bilingual education can agree. After presenting…

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