By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Since 2003, there has been a 700% growth of dual language, bilingual and associated programs in the US Department of Education database. Only eleven states concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest do not offer programs.READ MORE: Pennsauken Police Searching For Hit-And-Run Driver Who Killed Shadid Fauntleroy While Crossing Route 130
In New York City, 40 new and expanded programs will be in Spanish, but the initiative will also include instruction in Mandarin, French, Haitian Creole, Hebrew and Japanese depending on the school site. These programs are in response to criticism from civil rights groups for not meeting the needs of English learners.READ MORE: Upper Darby Mayor Unveils Plan To Resolve Battle Over Control Of Summer Stage
In dual language programs classroom instruction is delivered in two languages with the goal of bilingualism and biliteracy in both; however, currently there is a shortage of qualified teachers, parent outreach and failure to identify students.
The good news is that in public school, 16 elementary students enrolled in dual language programs outperformed their peers assigned to gifted and talented classes on state exams; optimism is growing.MORE NEWS: Man Robs 16-Year-Old Girl At Knifepoint At SEPTA Station, Police Say
Read more in Education Week.