CA Senate Committee Recommends Restoring Bilingual Education

bilingualeditCalifornia’s Senate Education Committee has recommended that the state’s voters be asked to repeal Proposition 227, the 1998 initiative requiring public school instruction in English.

The California Ed.G.E. (Education for a Global Economy) Initiative (Language Magazine, April 2014), authored by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Huntington Park/Long Beach) advanced out of the Senate Education Committee by a vote of 7 to 0. The bill, SB 1174, would place an initiative before voters on the November 2016 ballot and ask them to amend portions of Proposition 227 which limits public school instruction to English-only.

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  1. A recently published study provides the strongest evidence in support of bilingual education reported so far. McField and McField analyzed all comparisons done in all meta-analyses of bilingual education vs. comparison programs (students with similar background in all-English programs) for tests of English proficiency. Previous meta-analyses found positive effect sizes for bilingual education, ranging from .18 to .33. McField and McField reported that when both program quality and research quality are considered, the effect size in favor of children in bilingual education programs is larger, d= .41.

    This should settle the argument: bilingual programs, when set up correctly and evaluated correctly, do not prevent the acquisition of English – they facilitate it.

    (Note: An effect size of .2 is considered “small,” .5 “moderate” and .8 “large.”)

    McField, G. and McField, D. 2014. “The consistent outcome of bilingual education programs: A meta-analysis of meta-analyses.” In Grace McField (Ed.) 2014. The Miseducation of English Learners. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing. pp. 267-299.

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