July 29, 2008

Judge: Texas Must Improve Bilingual Ed

Texas officials, while considering an appeal of a judge's ruling on the state's bilingual education program, also say the program will be revised.

A number of legislators have introduced bills to upgrade bilingual education, The Dallas Morning News reports.

State Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano and head of the Education Committee, said her bill would include dropout prevention as well as better instruction. She said that elementary school programs appear to be getting results but high school programs need improvement.

In the Texas House of Representatives, Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands and chairman of the chamber's Education Committee, has a bill for dual-immersion programs. In those programs, half the instruction is in English and half in a foreign language, so that English-speaking students learn another tongue.

U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice, who approved the bilingual program in 2007, ruled Friday that the state wasn't complying with the Equal Education Opportunity Act. He singled out high school programs for criticism.