Schools Consortium Calls for Bilingualism

According to a new “federal accountability framework” released by the forward-thinking Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium, “Federal law should: A. Establish college and career readiness (CCR) as the goal for all students, recognizing that 21st century success requires student mastery of deep content knowledge; ability and fluency in more than one language; the ability to apply that knowledge through higher order skills; and the possession of essential non-cognitive competencies, such as perseverance, self-regulation, and confidence.
The consortium, a unique network of some of the nation’s “most successful districts and district leaders, is committed to world-class learning for all students. Its stated mission is to “significantly advance systemic education improvement and innovation in policy and practice to benefit all students.”
Consortium districts collectively serve more than 1.3 million students. Members are Arlington PS, VA; Baltimore County PS, MD; Beaverton SD, OR; Bellevue SD, WA; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, NC; Cobb County SD, GA; Fairfax County PS, VA; Fulton County Schools, GA; Greenville County Schools, SC; Gwinnett County PS, GA; Mesa PS, AZ; Montgomery County PS, MD; SD U-46, IL; Poway Unified SD, CA; and Virginia Beach City PS, VA.


  1. Well, better late than never. When I started as a fed in 1978 in what is now the US Dept. of Education, my first job was at the Office of Bilingual Education. But, even now under the name Office of English Language Education, the funds are for the operation of programs that mostly focus on English language acquisition for ELLs.

    So, after all of these decades, the notion that bilingualism should be valued as a 21st Century skill for American students remains unevenly understood and poorly implemented on a national scale.

    Yet, there is hope. Like the emphasis on STEM, dual language proficiency should be the fluency link that binds the abilities of the current generation of students to go anywhere and work anywhere their technical and linguistic skills fit.

  2. Some would even say that monolingualism is the new illiteracy. I can only agree with this! Such a large-scale plan, however, needs to be well thought out. Where do you find teachers capable of teaching in a second language? Do we import them from other countries? If so, how do we insure that they are properly certified? I would be very interested in knowing how this gets worked out.

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