ERIC Number: ED207335
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
A Historical Approach to Legal Aspects of Bilingual Education.
Valdes, Gabriel M.
Court decisions relating to bilingual education in the United States are synthesized and analyzed. In addition to cases relating specifically to language of instruction, those dealing with desegregation and racial or ethnic discrimination are reviewed. In decisions involving the teaching of foreign languages in elementary school, during the period 1923-1947, the trend was to invalidate state statutes prohibiting the teaching of foreign languages below the eighth grade. From 1950 on, court decisions have been consistent in trying to eliminate discrimination against black Americans in public schools. The period 1970-1973 saw Mexican American children identified as a minority group entitled to the protections announced in segregation cases. With Lau vs. Nichols, a decision ordering relief in the form of special programs for limited English speaking students without specifying the form of relief opened an era of mandatory bilingual education that continues today if only because the Supreme Court has been silent on the subject since then. Since 1975, courts have directed school districts to accommodate the limited English speakers wherever substantial numbers of those speakers desired accommodation. The methodology of bilingual education has found its way into many cases. Finally, the few decisions dealing with the rights of illegal alien children have been divided. (JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Bilingual Bicultural Education Conference (10th, Boston, MA, May 23-30, 1981).