Limited-English-speaking students in Pittsburg who floundered last
year with minimal guidance will have teachers and new materials this
fall designed to teach them English, under a school district plan.

Alienated parents and teachers are greeting the plan with
skepticism, still wary of a school district they believe abandoned
limited-English-speaking students under the guise of Proposition 227.

They say the district has a long way to go to put the plan into
action, but some hope it will at least follow the minimum guidelines
set forth by Proposition 227, which requires that limited-English-
speaking students be taught mostly in English.

“There are a lot of details that still need to be worked out,”
said parent Paul Ramirez. “What is proposed — compared with what
they had last year, which was zero — is a good improvement.”

Ramirez and more than 100 other Pittsburg parents and teachers
formed the Pro-Education Committee last year. The group complained
to the state Department of Education and the U.S. Department of
Education’s Office of Civil Rights that the Pittsburg Unified School
District was violating the students’ civil rights by failing to teach
them.

Both offices investigated the school district but have yet to
issue their findings.

The district’s plan includes:

— Reassessing all students with an updated test to determine who
needs an English-language-development curriculum.

— Placing all limited-English-speaking students in classes with
teachers certified or near certification in English-language
development.



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