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ERIC Number: EJ796296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1536-3031
Is There Room for Biliteracy? Credentialing California's Future Bilingual Teachers
Olivos, Edward M.; Sarmiento, Lilia E.
Issues in Teacher Education, v15 n1 p69-84 Spr 2006
Despite the ethnic and linguistic diversity found in California's public schools, or because of it, in 1998 voters approved Proposition 227, a ballot initiative designed to dismantle bilingual education programs in the state. By the 2003-2004 school year, the California Department of Education reports that statewide 8,908 teachers were providing primary language instruction to English learners (ELs), down dramatically from the 16,360 teachers who taught in primary language settings just five years prior. To date, the effectiveness of Proposition 227 and bilingual education are still being debated among politicians, policymakers, and educators with no end in sight. Notwithstanding the changing political climate and the educational policy shifts of the last 10 years, the need to effectively educate ethnically and linguistically diverse students is apparent. It is clear that the United States' public school system continues to become increasingly diverse and this is most evident in California, which has one of the most diverse student populations in the nation. Statewide, over 68 percent of students in public schools are classified as non-white, and over 1.5 million are classified as non-English-speaking. Within the latter group, over 85% of these students come from Spanish-speaking backgrounds. Given this large critical mass, these students' needs are the focus of this article. The authors argue that in order to work effectively with this population, and to combat the long history of Latino student underachievement in the public education system, the state must improve the overall quality of education provided. This includes, among other things, having access to "highly qualified" teachers capable of providing the necessary critical and technical skills to succeed academically and socially in the global society. Within the context of this journal, Senate Bill 2042 (SB 2042) has been addressed in great detail, particularly as it relates to the bill's consequences on teacher preparation and teacher credentialing. This article will focus on specific implications and consequences, both intended and unintended, of SB 2042 with regard to the essential preparation of teachers who possess the background knowledge, expertise, and dispositions to serve the large number of Spanish-speakers within a heritage language context, "despite" the decreasing presence of bilingual education programs statewide. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California