Hispanics cite DPS violation

Contempt charges in deseg case sought

The Congress of Hispanic Educators has asked a federal court to cite the Denver schools for contempt for allegedly failing to provide adequate bilingual education called for in a 1984 court decree.

The Hispanic group filed the motion earlier this week as a party in the Denver Public Schools desegregation case, court documents indicate.

The 1984 decree set guidelines for bilingual education in the school district.

Michael Jackson, lawyer for the district, said, “We believe we are in compliance and have been working with the congress and other groups” to meet the need of bilingual students. “We’re prepared to defend our performance in court.”

The Hispanic Educators cite figures showing that only 13 percent of the students in so-called accelerated courses are Hispanic and only 15 percent are black.

The Hispanic group’s latest filing claimed that the Denver schools aren’t adequately identifying students who have problems with English and that some students are rated as having higher language proficiency than they do.

The motion also claimed:

The district isn’t recruiting enough bilingual teachers.

Unqualified teachers are assigned to bilingual classrooms.

District’s efforts to help teachers learn Spanish are inadequate.

Eligible elementary school students aren’t receiving enough instruction in English as a second language, and bilingual curriculum is lacking.

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