ERIC Number: ED365987
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
National Standards and Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students: A Question of Equity.
Gonzales, Roseann Duenas
The present national educational reform movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to integrate innovative policy options and technical knowledge with concerns about equity and fairness. Philosophically, most Americans subscribe to the idea of fairness in education, but pragmatically the concept of fairness has eluded American schools for some time, as evidenced by the continued marginalization of linguistically and culturally diverse children. Understanding the factors associated with such students' low educational attainment and increasing alienation from school culture is the first step in the process of making informed decisions about equitable national standards. For some time those who develop policies for special populations have utilized the "deficit model" which assumes that students from diverse backgrounds lack an essential skill or orientation which allegedly hinders their academic achievement. Equity begins with an educational curriculum that promotes the use of students' native language as a medium of instruction and incorporates their home culture, history, and literacy. The "additive model" places significant emphasis on reinforcing the students' culture and language in the classroom while adding the majority language and culture. To further bridge the gap between home language and culture and curriculum, a philosophy of "relevant multiculturalism" is in order for the English Language Arts --that is, flexible standards that recognize the possibility of cultural pluralism in American education being put into practice at every level in the system. (Nine handouts dealing with data and projections for the LEP population are provided.) (Contains 43 references.) (NH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cultural Change; Diversity (Student)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (83rd, Pittsburgh, PA, November 17-22, 1993).