Boston: English immersion, educational exclusion

Francis Hult francis.hult at
Thu Apr 16 15:33:26 UTC 2009

Via lgpolicy-list at ...

English immersion, educational exclusion

How long does it take to make a child give up on school? Since the
2003 academic year, Boston has pushed public school students with
limited English ability-who speak everything from Cantonese to Haitian
Creole-into "Sheltered English Immersion" programs. The initiative,
the result of a 2002 referendum, was emphasized English as the
language of instruction, in contrast to traditional bilingual
education that teaches students in their native language. About five
years on, an analysis by the Mauricio Gaston Institute at U-Mass
Boston gives the new programs poor marks:

The study found that high school drop-out rates among students in
programs for English Learners almost doubled and that the proportion
of English Learners in middle school who dropped out more than tripled
in those three years. Finally, although there have been some gains for
English Learners in both [English and math test] pass rates in 4th and
8th grade, gains for English Learners have not matched those of other
groups and as a result gaps between English Learners and other [Boston
Public Schools] populations have widened.

Full story:

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