Anyone who studied French all through high school and still ended up hiring an avocado (avocat) instead of an attorney (avocat) understands that learning a foreign language is complicated, and isn’t a strong suit for U.S. schools. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the same is true when it comes to bilingual education. About 59 percent of California’s 1.4 million English learners are considered long-term English learners, meaning they’ve been in school here for more than six years, yet are not academically fluent.
Alarmed by those statistics, dozens of California school districts have been developing courses to end this educational stagnation. These efforts are showing promise and progress according to a new report, and have propelled California to the forefront a new nationwide movement.