A new report published today by the UCLA Civil Rights Project makes the case for establishment of bilingual education as the standard of instruction. The paper also outlines federal, state, and local policies needed to achieve that standard.
“Bilingual Education and America’s Future: Evidence and Pathways” underscores the reality that the U.S. lags behind most other nations where bilingual education is the norm and that many English learner-classified students in the U.S. are underserved. These students are enrolled in schools that often do not provide full, equitable access to the standard curriculum, nor the opportunity to develop the language they already know, two problems that bilingual programs address.
The report offers strong evidence of the benefits of bilingual education and a growing commitment to education policymaking that addresses barriers to opportunity experienced by EL students. The report’s authors contend that now is an opportune moment to expand bilingual education and establish bilingual and biliteracy education as the standard for instruction for all students, but especially for those who arrive at school with a language other than English.
The full report and executive summary can be found on the website of the Civil Rights Project at https://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/language-minority-students/bilingual-education-and-americas-future-evidence-and-pathways.
This report is part of a series of research papers, A Civil Rights Agenda for the Next Quarter Century, commissioned and published by the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles and commemorating its 25th anniversary.