US Education Department Fails Language Learners


A picture of Arne Duncan.

Arne Duncan

“US students who speak a language other than English at home and are still learning English have received scant support from the federal Department of Education under Secretary Arne Duncan.”

So says a report published by the University of Colorado a few days ago. The report is highly critical of the education these students are getting and predicts major problems in the future as emerging bilingual students are the fastest growing student group in America.

The report goes on to criticize Education Secretary Duncan and the way in which of the $840 billion of federal spending and tax cuts to benefit education in the 2009 ARRA Act, not one single penny was given to programs helping emerging bilingual students leading to a severe shortage of teachers qualified to teach these emerging bilingual students.

Editor’s Comments

The report makes for sad reading. It shows a complete disregard for the future by the Administration in terms of these students, students who will go on to form an ever increasing group within American society. 

It also shows a blatant disregard for the profession of TESOL. The Administration is seemingly blind to them and whilst it puts money into other less valuable projects, it simply ignores TESOL and this is a time bomb waiting to go off. The number of non-English speaking students it only going to increase in America. They are generally poor and lack the resources for a decent education so denying them English language skills there’s a risk they will simply stay within their own language ghetto with all the consequences that will bring.

Useful Links

U.S. Education Department Fails Fastest Growing Student Group – original report in PDF format

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