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.