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    Lots of re-education needed
    By Mara Jade

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    WOW there are a lot you who unfortunately by no fault of your own who need to be retrained. Please do not assume your school has it right. To the person whom I think is not an Az teacher, bilingual education in AZ is illegal. It is unfortunate as having moved from CA 20 years ago, bilingual education worked...but only if you have English and one other language in the class. I think the new laws are there to help all other language students. But here in Az it makes all schools and districts bow to assisting one demographic of students to the detriment of all including those students we think we are accommodating.

    The law states that all ELL students must be placed in an SEI classroom that has 4 hours of ELD instruction. Sounds confusing.. indeed it is. You can not have less than four hours of ELD instruction for a first year ELL student. And only teachers who have the SEI endorsement plus the 20 hours of ELD instruction workshops (with more hours coming) may teach these classes. So no matter how your school configures it, this is the only real requirement.

    Many schools are having one SEI classroom per grade. That is fine as long as the teacher is "SEI qualified". Schools can break up the fours hours between classrooms as long as all the teachers involved are "SEI qualified". Many high schools are in this situation. As are other schools.

    As for what we take away from students, or what they gain, there are some positives. The students do get intense language learning. That's a plus. But most classes will be ELL students only (not a requirement), and in that case they miss out on modeling by other students. Elementary students miss out on science, social studies, and math unless their classroom teacher knows how to work the four hour ideals into the content areas. It is not impossible although I personally can't see how you do that properly with math. Secondary students miss out on all elective courses until they pass part of the AZELLA. And some districts I heard are not giving them high school credit for those 4 hours. So this means they will need to take 5 years of high school to get enough credits to gaduate. Is this fair, or right? Did I hear someone say segregation?

    This is the second year of implementation and many schools did not even try to implement this last year. So they must step up to the plate now...for better or worse. Those who don't even try will lose funding. We are stuck without a say. And are we really doing this for the sake of the children? When we voted for this we only voted for English being the official language in our classrooms. We voted to come up with a way that ELL students would learn English quickly. This was for the betterment of our schools and children. But our legislature and the task force they created. took the ideals and did what legislatures do. To kindly say it, they messed up what we envisioned. Equality for all children so all children can learn!

    (So "confused" should I teach a class on this or what? Or get in front of that task force and speak my mind, just to be told...sorry you voted on this?)

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