The Miseducation of English Learners: A Tale of Three States and Lessons to be Learned

ISBN: 9781623964542
Publisher: Information Age Publishing
Publication Date: 2014-01-01
Number of pages: 356
  • $34.16

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The Miseducation of English Learners examines the initial policy impact of Structured English Immersion (SEI), an English-only program mandated for English Learners (ELs) in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts in the United States. The book features analyses of: the legal context and parameters of SEI; research history on SEI; SEI language policy and policy implementation according to situated context; and the educational priorities and legal rights of ELs. The book examines the history of SEI in the educational research literature and as it has been interpreted in the context of the legal requirement for schools to take "appropriate action" to meet the needs of ELs following the historic Lau v. Nichols (1974) court decision. The Miseducation of English Learners also presents and considers the implementation of SEI in comparative contexts from various perspectives including teacher education, the classroom, and legal. In several of the chapters, SEI implementation is examined in concert with other factors that have effected the teaching and progress of ELs such as Senate Bill 2042 (2001) that overhauled the teacher education process in California, and the federal No Child Left Behind legislation (signed into law on January 8, 2002). Moreover, the book provides implications and recommendations for teaching, research, advocacy, and policy change. The Miseducation of English Learners addresses and invites the readers to consider the following key questions: • How "appropriate" is the mandated SEI program for ELs, both in substance and in the one-year duration as specified in the three voter-initiated propositions (Proposition 227, Proposition 203, and Question 2)? • What issues, themes, and patterns can be noted in the implementation of SEI in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts? • Why might the student outcomes not show the desired results in measures such as achievement test scores or dropout rates? • What necessary changes are called for in order to enhance (or in some cases supplant) the SEI programs and services in place for ELs? • Are ELs, parents, and other stakeholders able to thoughtfully select desired and optimal instructional programs, and participate meaningfully in the educational process of language minority students under the SEI mandates?

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