Spanish Education At The Primary Level

1039 words - 4 pages

America has started to undergo many social changes in the past 20 years. One of the most noticeable changes is the increasing number of immigrants. One ethnic group that has been continuously increasing in numbers is the Hispanic people. Every year, roughly 400,000 Hispanics make America their new home. This number rises each year. It is estimated by 2010, there will be about 2 million people entering every year. Many states have been greatly impacted by the large populations of Hispanics in their states.One impact that states have succumb to is the need to change their educational systems. Educational boards are required to offer services to non-English speaking people. This comes as a part of the Equal Education Opportunity Act (EEOA). The act states:"No state shall deny equal educational opportunities to an individual on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, [or] by the failure by an educational agency to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by students in its instructional programs."During the 70s and 80s, many foreign citizens sued the local education boards due to the fact that they were not accommodating the needs of non-English speaking citizens. Spanish speaking citizens saw educational boards as being racists and giving English speaking students an upper-hand in society. Schools and education facilities were required to present an alternative way for non-English speaking students, such as the Spanish people, to receive a fair education.Schools started offering services that allowed Spanish speaking students to receive an education equal to that of English speaking students. Schools' actions differed though. Some school taught their classes in both Spanish and English, a bilingual education. Other schools required non-English speaking students to take an introductory English class in order to enroll in normal classes, or an emersion program. Both programs work and provide the necessary English education needed for Spanish speaking students to receive an education. The bilingual education approach was deemed as unacceptable by some though.Recently, the support for bilingual classrooms has significantly decreased in many parts of America. Many parents feel that the education of their already English fluent child is being brought down by the Spanish speaking students. A study shows that bilingual education increased standardized test scores for Spanish speaking students, but decreased the scores for English speaking students in states that have bilingual classrooms. This shows that bilingual classrooms are in most cases beneficial to Spanish speakers only.Another argument against bilingual classrooms is that people believe that it will cause America to shift from an English dominant society to a Spanish dominant society. There is general stereotype of that people must speak English in order to be truly "American". People see billboards and advertisements in Spanish as...

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