Congressional APA CaucusEducation Summit NCLB and API English Language Learners Dr. Clara C. Park Cal. State Univ., Northridge Imm. Past-President, National Assn. for Asian and Pacific American Education
Asian and Pacific Islanders (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003): = 11.3 million=> 4.1% of the U.S. population = 17.9% of APIs spoke another language at home =>Over 30 Asian groups and 21 PI groups exhibiting amazing levels of diversity; = 10.4% spoke English less than “very well”, although in reality the majority of them may belong to this category, as most of them are 1st generation immigrants, and may not have responded to the census survey being limited English proficient. • Approximately 2.25 million API students in U.S. schools = 4.6% of total student population (=48,610,618) (NCES, June, 2007). • 1/3 are in CA schools. • Asian American teachers=1.4% of all teachers (=3,315,000) vs. 4.6% of total student population = APIs. (cf.: White teachers=83.3% of all teachers vs. 57.1% of total student population is Whites. )
Nationwide, 5,074,572 English learners =10.3% of total student population (=49,324,849 in 2005-06); =10.2% (= 497,507.05) of them are APIs; => Roughly 22% of APIs are English language learners (ELLs); • In California, there are 6,258,006 students. APIs =11.55% (723,545): Asians= 8.25% (516,553) PIs= 0.63%(39,723) Filipinos=2.67% (167,269) Whites= 28.56% (1,787,192); African- Ams = 7.39% (462,330) Hispanics = 48.68% (3,046,432)
In CA, there are 1,568,661 English learners = 25% of total student population (=6,258,943); (=> 31% of national total ELLs); = 8.2% (=128,630) of them are APIs. ==> 16.3% of APIs are ELLs.
Table 1Statewide 2007 Base APIsOverall and for Student Subgroups Note: Tables A and C exclude schools in the Alternative Schools Accountability Model (ASAM), special
NCLB vs. Bilingual Education Act (1968) • The Bilingual Education Act (1968) was enacted, as Title VII, an Amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965) during Johnson Administration: --Contained a specific clause to provide L1/bilingual instructional services to nation’s growing ELL population; --The original intent and spirit of the Act was to provide equal educational opportunity to language minority students, if necessary, via L1 instructional services. --Since then, after every five years, the re- authorization of the Act has taken place and continued to preserve its original intent and spirit until NCLB was enacted in 2001.
For the first time in the history of the re-authorization of the Bilingual Education Act (1968), the NCLB (2001) has intentionally left out the provision of providing L1/bilingual instructional services. • Instead, it included strong accountability component of adequate yearly progress of all students in nation’s schools and imposed stiff sanctions upon all states, school districts, and schools to annually assess all students (i.e., ELLs and students in special education programs) by the use of standardized tests to demonstrate their annual AYP. • Since 2001, schools and districts assessed even ELLs who had been in U.S. schools for less than one year. • The assessment component of the NCLB has made individual states waste vast amount of fund in assessing all students (i.e., ELLs and special educ. students), when it could be well-spent on providing adequate instructional services to them.
½ million API ELLs in nation’s schools are left in a quandary without adequate L1 services. As a result, No Asian ELLs Have even Left or Being Pushed Out! --Asian Dropout Rate in Lowell, MA = 42.9% vs. Asian Enrollment =28.9% --MA => 1 ESL teacher / 61 ELLs; -- NY => 1 ESL Teacher / 259 ELLs; -- WA => 1 ESL teacher/ 74 ELLs. -- CA => 1 Bilingual Teacher / 147 ELLs; -- NY => 1 Bilingual Teacher / 177 ELLs; -- WA => 1 Bilingual Teacher / 161 ELLs.
The new NCLB must do away with the assessment of Asian and other ELLs for the first 3 years, which is currently required. Provide universities, states, and districts funds to train ESL and Asian bilingual teachers & specialists. Use multiple forms of assessment for Asian and other ELLs, not just standardized tests. The U.S. Dept of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, needs to collect a comprehensive data of ELLs and certified ESL & bilingual teachers, which is disaggregated by ethnicity, native language, SES, ELL status, and program type to effectively address the instructional needs of Asian and other ELLs.
Policy–makers must be aware that: -- There are vast Asian language resources in the Asian American communities which Asian immigrants have brought with them. --Thus, they can readily be tapped into to recruit them into teaching profession with financial incentives, i.e., scholarships or fellowships, in order to provide effective bilingual education for APA ELLs.
The new NCLB must include some fund specifically earmarked for L1/bilingual instructional services, ESL/bilingual staffing and training, and professional development of existing teachers. • Provide more funds to states and districts to translate school documents, hire interpreters, and conduct parent education for new Asian and other immigrant communities and families. • Require every state to collect a comprehensive data of ELL students and ESL & bilingual teachers that is disaggregated by ethnicity, native language, SES, ELL status, and ELL program type to effectively address the educational needs of individual groups.
Expand resources for Asian ELL students for bilingual instruction in Asian languages, content assessment in Asian languages. • Use absolute threshold (raw) number (i.e.,200 or more) and/or population ratios at a given school within districts rather than states to determine the needs of native language materials for assessment and instruction. SchoolCityState Cantonese-speaking ELLs Newcomer High, San Francisco 48% 36% 1.4% Korean-speaking ELLs 3rd St. Sch., Los Angeles 52% 1.1% 1.1%
Explicitly promote bilingual education and provide adequate funding to expand such programs. • Require training in ESL, bilingual and SDAIE Methodology and multicultural awareness for all teachers. • De-value high-stakes testing, use multiple forms of assessment, and create Asian language assessments.