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New LA Policy for Non-English-Speaking Students is Criticized by Prof. Bob Hershberger

October 22, 2013

"Plans to separate Los Angeles elementary school students who are not fluent in English from native speakers in all core classes is drawing fire, as educators and parents say the move will make the students 'second-class citizens' in their own schools," begins a Christian Science Monitor story. "The policy is an attempt to improve the performance of non-English-speaking students in response to a two-year-old federal civil rights lawsuit. Test results show that as many as 50,000 district students classified as 'English Language Learners' (ELLs) in kindergarten never become proficient."

Gloria Goodale reports, "Such a move will add to the isolation and stigmatization of these learners, says Robert Hershberger, a Spanish professor and textbook author at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. This renders 'them as second-class citizens who don't deserve the same treatment as their peers,' he says in an e-mail interview."

The article -- headlined "Los Angeles schools' plan for non-English speakers: Segregation or solution?" -- is also available via Yahoo! News.

Robert P. Hershberger, professor of modern languages (Spanish) at DePauw, authored Viajes: Introducción al español and Rumbos. In 2004-05, he received the Exemplary Teaching Award,  given jointly by DePauw University and the General Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Church.

Source: Christian Science Monitor