Resolution Passed by the Board
the Board of Education passed a resolution revising the teaching
of English Language Learners. The resolution implemented a new
system of parental choice among ELL programs and emphasizes the
need to clearly inform parents about their options. The Board
members unanimously voted in favor of passing the resolution.
Below are some of the members’ written statements about the resolution.
Board President William Thompson, Jr., Brooklyn representative:
“The house is far from built. The success of any improvements
will hinge on our ability to clearly articulate for administrators,
teachers, parents and students, which program options are available
and how to make informed decisions about which program choice
Ninfa Segarra: “At the point of entry, parents must be able to
make informed decisions about what is best for their children.
No matter the choice, be it bilingual, ESL or intensive, this
system must guarantee parents that their children will receive
the best possible services and every opportunity to complete their
education, and that their children will become productive members
of our society…
Sandra Lerner, Bronx representative: “The guidelines are separate
and apart from the resolution. While I will vote and do vote for
the resolution in a positive manner, I do wish to state that the
guidelines appear to me to be contrary to the resolution, and
I will await the full implementation plan as directed, for any
Terri Thomson, Queens representative: “This resolution brings
parents into the decision-making process and gives them the respect
they deserve to act as partners with the schools in charting the
future of their children. However, parents cannot act in a thoughtful
way, and we will not be able to ‘clearly inform’ them as required
by the resolution, if we are not prepared to communicate with
them in their language.
Jerry Cammarata, Staten Island: “This resolution is not a resolution
of finality, but…a resolution to begin the journey. To begin the
journey that really will give us an opportunity now to see what
the potential can be within our system so that we don’t talk about
monoligualism, and we don’t talk—ever talk—about bilingualism,
but we talk about a polylingual capacity in every student.”
by Sarah Elzas
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