Here’s a news flash: People whose reading skills are tested in a language that is foreign to them don’t do as well as people who are fluent in that language.
In this case, the “people” happen to be school children in Sonoma County, who, it was reported on Monday, test far below English-speaking students on standardized achievement tests.
But is there any surprise there? Give a fortysomething editorial writer a reading test in French — which was last studied two decades ago in college -and the result would be about the same. In the wake of Proposition 227, these test scores could be used by opponents of bilingual education to buttress their belief that bilingual ed doesn’t work.
But that’s not a fair reading of the results. Many of the students tested were not even in bilingual programs.
Teachers pointed out the obvious “conclusion” from this testing: Students who don’t speak English will not do well on a test that is given in English. Gee. No kidding.