Boston: Broken English immersion

Francis Hult francis.hult at
Thu Apr 9 13:17:22 UTC 2009

Boston Globe


Broken English immersion


Boston Suffers from a garbled approach to education for students with limited English - an approach that is widening achievement gaps at all grade levels and driving students to drop out. A change of course is needed to ensure opportunity for the 24,000 Boston students who aren't native speakers of English.


A report released this week by the Gastón Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Boston revealed the system's inability to adjust to changes in state law on how to teach students with limited English ability. The high school drop-out rates for so-called English language learners nearly doubled, to 12 percent, between 2003 and 2006, according to the report. The school district's family resource centers routinely fail to assess students' language skills. And fearing stigma, parents often make matters worse by withholding information about their native tongues.


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