California Neglects Education of English Learners, Lawsuit Claims

Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2012

State officials are neglecting their legal obligation to ensure that students who are learning English are receiving an adequate and equal education, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the ACLU of Southern California and other advocates.

The focus of the litigation is a small school system near Fresno, but the legal implications are broader: The suit accuses the state of poor oversight and says it must, by law, act to make sure these students are keeping pace academically with their peers across California.

The suit claims that the Dinuba Unified School District in Tulare County uses a substandard curriculum to improve the lagging performance of students who have yet to master English.


In Dinuba, first, second and third graders are removed from their regular classes and instead taught grammar, in English, at a level beyond even what native speakers are exposed to at that age, the suit claims. The result, it says, is that students are missing curriculum they could and should be learning while being drilled on material that is not appropriate.


The district has described its approach as teaching English as though it were “a foreign language” through methods that “help students understand how English is constructed and used.”


“No state has a greater stake in the education of children who are learning English as a second language than California,” where 23% of students are learning English, said Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel for the Southern California ACLU. “Yet no state does a poorer job of educating [these] students to communicate and comprehend English.”


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  • WmarkW

    Heather Mac Donald
    California’s Demographic Revolution
    If the upward mobility of the impending Hispanic majority doesn’t improve, the state’s economic future is in peril.

    Many of California’s Hispanic students who have been schooled in the U.S. for all their lives and are orally fluent in English remain classified as English learners in high school because they have made so little academic progress. In the Long Beach Unified School District, for
    example, nearly nine-tenths of English learners entering high school have been in a U.S. school at least since first grade. The lack of progress isn’t due to bilingual education: Long Beach got rid of its last bilingual program in 1998, and the current ninth-grade English
    learners have been in English-only classrooms all their lives. Some come from families that immigrated to the U.S. two or three generations ago.

    • Francis Galton

      California’s FUTURE is in peril?  California is already dead; we’re simply attending the wake before the funeral at this point.  California will NEVER return to its former glory, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mexico winds up annexing the southern portions of the state in the not-too-distant future (I’ll give it 30 years, at which point California will probably be at least 75 percent mestizo). 

      • Joshua50

         Let them have it, then build a wall around it to keep them in. Maybe it will fall off the continental shelf during the next big quake and do us all a  favor.

      • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

         Mexico is in such a political mess that it could not possibly annex any part of the U.S.  Mexico is about to become a failed state itself.  Such projections are ignorant of the facts about Mexico.  It is more likely that California will simply become, like many other parts of the U.S. are becoming, a comparatively chaotic region.  The real problems will start worldwide when once wealthy Americans no long have the money or means to assist places like Haiti and Nigeria (plug in the list of needy non-white nations).  The near future looks to become very chaotic soon.  Yet, people will continue to pretend and carry on as if everything is fine as long as they can, and I agree with doing that.  There is no need to allow the collapse to be any more a self-fulfilling prophecy than it already seems to be.

  • “No state has a greater stake in the education of children who are
    learning English as a second language than California,” where 23% of
    students are learning English, said Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel for
    the Southern California ACLU. “Yet no state does a poorer job of
    educating [these] students to communicate and comprehend English.”

    No state (possibly no where in the WORLD) faces the monumental challenges that California does.  They flood us with the DUMBEST, LOWEST IQ people in the world and then SUE US when we can’t get them to climb Mt. Everest in sandals!  Don’t worry folks this train is running off the rails and it is about to crash and burn spectacularly!  No tax increase is going to save us now!  They wanted the mexicans and now they have Mexico.  VIVA LA REVOLUTION!

  • libertarian1234

    Gov. Brown just came out a couple of weeks ago announcing a shortfall in the budget of 16 billion dollars……..and growing.

    Yet there has been a number of stories like this one which involves spending on some nonsensical person,  group or project.  I’m just wondering if any of the Democrats there know the difference between a debit or a credit.

    Kramer on CNBC; Celente at Trends Research;  and Marc Faber, along with Peter Schiff and others,  are forecasting 100% chances of a second…much worse….recession/depression.

    Surely California politicians are aware of the dire economic outlook since it involves so many high profile economists, but they continue on as if the economy is on the mend.

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

    I just talked to a friend in California who told me about the issue his kindergarten teacher neighbor has been dealing with for years.  The state requirement is that kindergarten kids who speak Spanish be taught English.  In the past, there would be perhaps seven or eight out of a class of thirty kids in that category.  Now he says, it is ALL OF THEM, 100%.  It’s an impossible situation.

    These kids have parents who not only don’t speak English, but don’t even speak good Spanish.  My friend told me that his neighbor said she was quitting in a couple years, but we doubted she could hold out that long.

    Anyone doubt that this nation is running headlong toward collapse?  Prepare.

    • We have schools here in Los Angeles / Orange County in which the entire student body is either illegal or the offspring (aka anchor babies) of illegal invaders. Essentially, we are paying for the “education” of those who should not be here. It is that simple.  The chickens (or is that pollos) are coming home to roost as a result of Brown V. Board of Education and a refusal to enforce immigration law.
      I suspect the system will eventually collapse, as this cannot go on much longer.

      • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

         I always ruefully shake my head when some people here post those old California hate comments and think it will be no loss.  California has always been a leader and portend for what is coming next for everyone.  You are all too correct; this situation is too far gone to be fixed and no one has the courage to deal with it.  This is the underlying reason Rome fell. 

    • crystal evans

       The problem is that many Mexicans who come to this country are Indians from Southern Mexico, who speak their native language and cannot speak Spanish. How do you teach them if no one is able  to speak their native tongue.

      • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

         I know this is part of the problem.  When I traveled Mexico in the 1980s, what I came away with was a new understanding that Mexico was really a bunch of Indian tribes united loosely by Catholicism and martial law (more or less).

  • Johnny Reb

    OK . . . these kids are probably watching 15 hours of TV and videos a day . . . you telling me they can’t pick up English just by osmosis?

    You have to be dumb as a box of rocks . . . no wait . . . dumber than the rock who couldn’t make it into the box of rocks because it was too dumb . . . not to be able to pick up a language in the 1st – 3rd grade.

    I’ve seen tiny Korean shoe-shine boys speak more fluently and eloquently then the average American non-white urchin.   But, not to worry.  Affirmative Action will solve all our problems. 

    • Okay, that was pretty funny.. I laughed for about 5 minutes over the ‘box of rocks’ comment.

      What’s not funny is that you’re right.. we’re not exactly getting future MENSA members, brain surgeons and rocket scientists..

      When I was deployed to South America, I became fluent in Spanish in 6 months despite not being exposed to the language before.  Years later, when I ended up in Germany, it took a little longer, but at least I could “Habla” with the locals and make myself understood inside of a year.

      Kids are like sponges.  They soak up anything and everything they’re exposed to at an early age.  Well, white kids anyways… My son is living proof:  he flips back and forth between English and German effortlessly.

    • Not sure how much English the anchor baby is going to learn by watching Telemundo…..

  • How can they be discriminated agaisnt when they are the majority in CA?

  • California is a SOCIO-FASCIST police state
    intent on eradicating its white people

    • Yes, I usually refer to California as a “Leftwing Police State”.

  • crystal evans

    I personally think that young children should be taught in an English immersion program. This forces them to speak English. They will learn English a lot quicker than in traditional bilingual education programs that are too dependent on their first language to teach them the standard curriculum in.

    • No more programs, since immersion programs will never be taught 100% in English. All classes will be taught in English only. Immigrants are supposed to have a basic understanding of the English language when they arrive. It should be up to them to learn English if they want to live in this country. Of course, a different set of rules have been established for the illegal invaders jumping the fence; which is really who bilingual instruction and English immersion programs are designed to assist.

  • William_JD

    In other words, Mexicans are demanding that the government spend much more on their education than on the education of others.  But isn’t that illegal?

    • Mexicans are always demanding preferential treatment, and usually get it! To deny such preferential treatment would lead to accusations of being ” racist, mean-spirited, hateful, and xenophobic.”  

  • crystal evans

     I thought California kicks students out who are 18 or older and who have not graduated from high school and tell them take the GED test instead?

  • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

     However will you get along without all the Hollywood entertainment that keeps you buzzed?

    FYI California was and always has had more foreigners in it than natives.  Most of the white people I met while growing up and living most of my life there were from other states.  The ones who never made it are the ones who hate it.  Of course, it’s a different story now.

    The ultimate revenge on duds like you is that when “kalifornia” collapses, the rest of the nation will follow and quickly.

    What a useless comment from a useless poster.

  •  Most of Mexico’s population is found from Monterrey southward.  How can any illegal alien Mexican in America from southern Mexico stay with a straight face that the border crossed over them?