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Letter To Benjamin Rosenthal From Office Of Education - Benefits Of Bilingual Education Program

Files

Title

Letter To Benjamin Rosenthal From Office Of Education - Benefits Of Bilingual Education Program

Description

Letter to Benjamin Rosenthal about benefits of bilingual education and consequences of not implementing program.

Subject

Rosenthal, Benjamin
Education, Bilingual
United States. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
United States. Office of Education

Creator

United States. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
United States. Office of Education

Source

BenjaminRosenthalCollection.Box22.Folder26

Publisher

Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)

Date

1979-06-19

Rights

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Format

Image/jpeg
410413 bytes
151567 bytes

Language

English

Type

Text

Coverage

United States

Text

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, E DUCATION, AND WELFARE
OFFICE OF EDUCAT ION
Washington D.C. 20202

JUN 19 1979

Honorable Benjamin Rosenthal
House of Representatives
Washington D.C.

Dear Mr. Rosenthal:

Thank you for your letter of May 25 on behalf of Ms. Sondra Juron of Flushing,
New York.

Congress originally enacted the bilingual education program to help meet a critical educational need. In passing this law, Congress recognized that a disproportionate number of children whose native language is not English fail in regular school programs. For this reason Congress authorize the Bilingual Education Act which, by using a child’s native language in a well coordinated educational, program, helps children become proficient in English.

The failure of regular English language programs to provide adequate instruction for these children is obvious. As an example the average Spanish dominant child in a standard English language classroom in the third grade is already one full year behind the national norm. At the seventh grade level, the gap has widened to two years. More than half of all Spanish speaking children -drop out of school before grade twelve. The “melting pot” theory does not seem tenable in the face of such statistics.
Bilingual Education programs can benefit all participants (including native English speakers). The individual who is bilingual has a definite advantage in the area of international relations. It is interesting to note that the United States is the only industrial nation whose business and economic leaders are not bilingual as a matter of course. Most European nations seem to realize the positive economic advantages which derive from bilingualism. Rather than detracting from the overall education of English speaking children, a good program of bilingual education can enhance the education of these children.

Many students of limited English proficiency enter this country in upper elementary or secondary grades. To require these children to leave the regular school program for a year while they receive special English training would cause these children to fall further behind their English speaking peers. The results of a study of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs confirms the failure of this approach. Bilingual education, through ESEA Title VII, seeks to assure equality of educational opportunity. By providing bilingual programs to children of limited English proficiency, the Title VII program helps prepare these children to become fully participating citizens of an English speaking country.

Thank you for your comments.
Sincerely yours,
Rudolph J. Munis
Divison Director
Elementary and Secondary Programs
Office of Bilingual Education

Original Format

Correspondence
Paper
8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)

Citation

United States. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and United States. Office of Education, “Letter To Benjamin Rosenthal From Office Of Education - Benefits Of Bilingual Education Program,” Queens College Archives and Special Collections, accessed November 25, 2017, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/queenscollege/items/show/10.