My father, who in his retirement went back to his first love of teaching, was substituting in a first grade ESL class. By the way, my father spoke no Spanish, but every child in that class understood him without issue. The day he was there was the day for standardized testing to see if the children could progress into a regular classroom. The test these 6-year-olds took was 2 hours without any breaks, including no bathroom breaks. My father complained that it was impossible for 6-year-olds to sit for so long, making it patently unfair, dooming the children to failure. Apparently the families were not given the right to put the children into a regular classroom either. I am also not surprised by that. When I first moved to NYC, I knew a family where the father was from a Spanish speaking country, and the mother was a 3rd generation Italian-American. The school tried to insist that the daughter, who was born in the US, and who spoke English at home and spoke no Spanish, would be placed in ESL. (They were going by her last name and the fact that she had a foreign born parent) Luckily the mother threw enough of a fit to stop this shenanigans. We came to the conclusion that failure was exactly what the school district wanted. The more children in ESL the more federal money the district could access. It wasn't about the children who should be in an English speaking classroom so they could learn and develop into the American culture and education system. It was about some money-grubbing administrators who wanted to make sure their worthless jobs were continued. This is no different than the end to appropriate early childhood education and the push for that monstrosity called Common Core. it is all tied up in federal money. It has nothing to do with what is best for the child or how children actually learn. CC is merely about some "professors" and their accolades at DOE deciding they know best. Ironically major STEM educators have condemned CC for setting STEM backwards.
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