I, Charles L. Glenn, declare as follows:
1. I am a Professor of Education at Boston University, and Chairman of the Department of Administration, Training and Policy Studies. I was appointed Professor effective September 1991. My primary graduate courses deal with educational policy and with diversity in education, and my research is focused upon international comparative policies and practices.
2. From August 1970 to September 1991, I was the state official responsible for urban education and civil rights enforcement in the Massachusetts Department of Education, bearing in turn the titles : "Model Cities Coordinator," "Director, Bureau of Equal Educational Opportunity," and "Executive Director, Office of Educational Equity." When Massachusetts became the first state to mandate "transitional bilingual education" (TBE), in 1971, I was given the responsibility of developing the procedures by which this instructional strategy would be implemented. Subsequently a separate bureau was established to provide program assistance in complying with the Massachusetts statute, but I retained responsibility for negotiating Lau compliance plans and for enforcing state and federal equal-opportunity and non-discrimination requirements protecting language-minority pupils. In 1986 and 1988, I prepared extensive reports for the Massachusetts Board of Education on the education of language minority pupils and problems arising through the over-isolation and inadequate accountability of TBE programs in Massachusetts.
3. While a state official, I provided technical assistance to 18 Massachusetts cities (including Boston) in the development and implementation of school desegregation and equal opportunity plans, and enforced state and federal laws requiring such plans. In each case, providing adequate and appropriate TBE and English-as-a-second-language (ESL) services to language-minority pupils was a primary consideration. In 14 of the cities, Hispanic pupils were the predominant minority group for whom desegregation and equal opportunity compliance efforts was required. Carrying out these responsibilities, I visited hundreds of TBE classrooms and met frequently with TBE administrators, teachers, and parent advisory councils.
4. I also carried out monitoring responsibilities for the Federal District Court in its supervision of Boston school desegregation, leading up to termination of direct court supervision. As part of this responsibility, I conducted and supervised an in-depth study of the assignment and retention of language-minority (LM) pupils in TBE programs in Boston.
5. I have served as a consultant on equal educational opportunity for minority pupils for a number of other states, including Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut; for a number of cities, including Chicago (where I was lead consultant for the Monitoring Commission for several years), Albuquerque, San Diego and Mobile; and for the United States Departments of Justice and Education. Recently, I served as an appointed reviewer for the National Research Council study Improving Schools for Language Minority Children: A Research Agenda, chaired by Professor Kenji Hakuta.
6. In 1996, I published the most extensive comparative international review of policies for the schooling of language minority pupils, focusing primarily on Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, but drawing also upon experience in other countries..(1) In conducting this study over a dozen years, I visited hundreds of schools and reviewed research, government documents, and policy debates in eight languages as reflected in the 1,500 titles in the bibliography of Educating Immigrant Children.
7. The accuracy of my review of policies for the schooling of LM pupils has been acknowledged in Europe, where I was asked to give the keynote address on "Minority Children and their Schooling" at the 1995 annual meeting of the European Association for Education Law and Policy (published in The Legal Status of Minorities in Education, Leuven, 1996), and it was cited a number of times in the 1997 National Research Council study. I have been asked by official agencies to advise on language policies in education in Russia, China, and South Africa, and have lectured on the education of language minority children in Denmark, Germany, the Holland, and elsewhere.
8. Finally, five of my own children have received their elementary education in a "two-way" bilingual public school in Boston which serves primarily Puerto Rican pupils, giving me a different, more direct, perspective on this form of schooling over the past dozen years.
Purpose of my declaration
10. My declaration will therefore not address the inconclusive research and evaluation on educational strategies for LEP pupils, but will seek to answer three questions: (a) does Proposition 227 mandate an "untested, unproven, and, indeed, wholly experimental theory," an "unfounded, experimental methodology" which "defies all educational research and experience" and which can be shown to lead to "long-term, irremediable educational injury because of its extreme, shortsighted prescriptions"? (b) does Proposition 227 require a "sink-or-swim" approach with no appropriate educational and other support after the initial year, and "a massive reduction of educational services to LEP students" whose "life prospects will be shattered as a result"? (c) can Proposition 227 be implemented successfully or will it lead to "administrative chaos" because there are no materials or teachers capable of implementing such a "model and radical one-year ‘immersion' program’"?
An "untested, unproven, and wholly experimental theory"?
12. The common European model is to put all newcomers into a special reception class for one year or, in rare cases, for two, and then to integrate them into regular classes, with on-going extra support as needed. This usually includes the opportunity to continue, as an elective, to study the heritage language and culture in a supplementary course. It should be noted (contrary to the widespread impression here) that several Western European educational systems have a higher proportion of immigrant children than is the case in the United States, and that in none of them is prolonged separate instruction through the home language (what we call "bilingual" education) the norm.(2) It is true that pilot programs have from time to time been launched to provide early literacy instruction through the home language (for example, in Leiden and Enschede in the Netherlands) but these have not been replicated because the results have not convinced policy-makers that this was in the interest of LM children. The advocates and political parties which are most concerned to do justice to immigrant minorities, in Germany and other European countries, vigorously oppose assigning immigrant minority children to separate classes and teaching them in their home languages; seeing this as a well-meaning but ill-advised strategy leading inevitably to marginalization from the social and economic mainstream.(3)
13. Are such comparisons meaningless, as is sometimes asserted, because European societies are not as ethnically pluralistic as the United States? In 1997, the foreign proportion of total population was higher in Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Austria, Belgium and Germany than it was in the United States. Economist John Bishop has pointed out in another National Research Council report that "in both France and the United States the share of students who are taught in a language different from their mother tongue is 6 percent; it is . . . 12 percent in Canada, 15 percent in Northern Italy, and 20 percent in Switzerland."(4) Putting this another way, the proportion of 9-year-olds speaking another language at home than that of the school was 3% in the United States (much higher in California, of course), 9% in France and Sweden, 12% in the Netherlands, 10% in the western part of Germany, and 21% in Switzerland.(5) There are hundreds of schools in Western Europe whose enrollment is more than 90% language minority derived from African, Turkish, or Asian immigration. Nor is it accurate to dismiss the experience of other countries by alleging that they do not face the racial and ethnic tensions which plague American society. Germany, Belgium, France, Norway and other countries have political parties which appeal openly to anti-immigrant sentiment. The discrimination and social marginality experienced -- for example -- by North Africans in France or by Turks and Kurds in Germany exceeds that faced by most immigrants in the United States.
14. The norm in industrialized nations other than the United States with large numbers of immigrant children, then, is to provide a "reception class" for those who arrive after the usual age for starting their schooling, and to integrate the youngest children directly into regular kindergarten classes. In reception classes, the focus is upon laying the foundation for academic proficiency in the language of the school, without any illusions that total grade-level proficiency will be achieved in one year. This strategy has been chosen because educators and policy-makers have concluded that, once this foundation has been laid, the further progress of LM children will be most rapid in a class with native speakers of French, German, Dutch, or whatever the language of the school may be. In short, the approach required by Proposition 227 is entirely consistent with that employed in thousands of schools in Western Europe, and is thus by no means an "untested, unproven, and, indeed, wholly experimental theory," an "unfounded, experimental methodology" which "defies all educational research and experience." If the Plaintiffs were correct in their predictions of disastrous consequences from the implementation of Proposition 227, one would expect that the achievement level of the children of immigrants in Europe (and Australia and Canada) would be much lower than that of LM children in California schools, but that is by no means the case.
15. Children born in France of immigrant parents are placed automatically in regular kindergartens without even the transitional year provided by Proposition 227, but "the initial gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students, instead of widening steadily as in the United States, decreases with each school grade. By the end of seventh grade, the child of a North African immigrant who has attended two years of French preschool (école maternelle) will on average have narrowed the socially induced learning gap."(6) It is not possible to generalize about the comparative success of the children of immigrants in different educational systems, because many factors can influence achievement and attainment, as we can observe even among different Spanish-speaking groups in the United States. Comparing the achievement of Moroccan children in Belgium with Haitian children in the United States would be an uncertain project, though both come from rural backgrounds in developing nations, and speak languages -- Berber and Kreyol -- which have been standardized only very recently and have not traditionally been used for formal schooling even in their countries of origin. It is possible at least to assert with confidence that European schools are not doing a less adequate job of promoting the educational attainment of large numbers of LEP children than are typical American bilingual programs.
16. But bilingual education is by no means the only well-established approach used for schooling LEP children in the United States. Most states do not mandate bilingual education and some prohibit it. This represents a "natural experiment," since one could compare the educational results for many thousands of LM pupils in states mandating and states prohibiting that early literacy instruction be provided through home languages. Massachusetts mandates bilingual education, for example, Delaware prohibits it, but Hispanic achievement is not notably higher in one state than in the other; indeed, the gap between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress was substantially larger in Massachusetts than it was in Delaware, according to the latest results available on the World Wide Web.
17. In California, according to the Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction (July 15, 1998), there are 1.4 million limited-English-proficient or non-English-proficient school children, of whom only about 30 percent were enrolled in bilingual education programs, while 70 percent "were served in a variety of other programs." The decision about program mode for each child was made locally, on the basis of local criteria. Is there evidence that more than two-thirds of LEP children in California have suffered "long-term, irremediable educational injury" because they were not in BE programs? Or reason to believe that these non-bilingual programs (such as the English Language Development Program, or Alternative Instructional Program) are "unfounded, experimental" methodologies which defy "all educational research and experience"? Of course not! And certainly there is no suggestion in the Plaintiffs' filing that any of these programs are based upon "untested, unproven, and, indeed, wholly experimental" theories. The fact is that low-incidence LM populations are almost always, in California and elsewhere, served through English-language immersion programs, and there is no reason to believe that Tamil-speakers or Ukrainian-speakers in American schools have had their "life prospects . . . shattered as a result"! Indeed, the National Research Council review chaired by Professor Hakuta concluded that "It is clear that many children first learn to read in a second language without serious negative consequences. These include children in early-immersion, two-way, and English as a second language (ESL)-based programs in North America, as well as those in formerly colonial countries that have maintained the official language [of the colonizer] as the medium of instruction, immigrant children in Israel, children whose parents opt for elite international schools, and many others. . . The high literacy achievement of Spanish-speaking children in English-medium Success for All schools . . that feature carefully-designed direct literacy instruction suggests that even children from low-literacy homes can learn to read in a second language if the risk associated with poor instruction is eliminated."(7)
18. In summary, it is thoroughly inaccurate to describe the one-year transitional approach provided by Proposition 227 as having "no apparent precedent and no support in educational theory." It is a well-established approach, a sound educational practice, which has been used for over 30 years by more than a dozen countries with excellent educational systems, and by thousands of schools in the United States.
Does Proposition 227 require a "sink-or-swim" approach?
20. Nor does Proposition 227 make "the extraordinary and unsupported assumption that one year spent in its novel “immersion' program” will make LEP children fully proficient in English or call for a "one-year limit on English language development for LEP students." It simply assumes that English-language development is on-going and that, after one year of laying a foundation, LM pupils will be best served and will make most progress in English-language development as well as in academics in a regular classroom, with appropriate on-going support as their individual strengths and needs require. This is the assumption upon which practice in other countries is based, and it has worked.
21. Nor does Proposition 227 prevent schools and districts from providing "meaningful amounts of primary language assistance, often through the use of paraprofessionals and classroom aides," as the Plaintiffs note is the practice in many alternative non-bilingual classes in California. European reception classes often have two teachers, one of whom a native of the country from which many of the children come who helps to orient and support them and to communicate with parents, but in a context of single-minded focus on acquiring an initial proficiency in the host-country language. I describe such a class at page 443 of Educating Immigrant Children.
22. Nor does Proposition 227 put an end to careful assessment of the educational needs of each LEP pupil by replacing "individual assessments of need with a prescriptive, ‘one-size- fits-all' program." There can be enormous variation in how individual children are served both during and after a transitional program, and it is the professional responsibility of teachers and administrators to ensure that services are based upon accurate assessment. The assessments used for placing LM pupils in BE programs and in deciding when they are ready to be mainstreamed are in fact notoriously inadequate, and the best language assessment may well be that carried out by a skilled teacher as she works with a pupil over weeks and months.
23. Nor, finally, does Proposition 227 require that schools become less responsive to the parents of LEP children. The implication of the Plaintiffs' suggestion in this regard is that California schools are unconcerned to communicate with the parents of the 70% of LEP pupils who are not in BE programs, but surely this is not the case. There is every reason for schools and districts to employ staff with the language skills and the training to work closely with LM families to ensure that they are effectively involved with the education of their children. Can Proposition 227 be implemented successfully?
24. There is no inherent reason why Proposition 227 cannot be implemented effectively in September 1998 and subsequently, though there will certainly be many opportunities for school system staff who are philosophically opposed or feel threatened in their career interests to make it less effective than it should be. As the state official responsible for over-seeing implementation by the Boston Public Schools of the 1974 school desegregation plan, I became very familiar with the ways in which delay and deliberate misunderstanding can undermine the educational interests of children. It would thus be incautious for me to assert that Proposition 227 will be implemented effectively in every case. My experience with several other Massachusetts cities, Springfield and Holyoke, for example--facing desegregation showed how much can be accomplished in a short time when there is a will to make a change successful.
25. That reservation aside, the objections to feasibility of implementation focus largely upon the qualifications of staff and the need for a curriculum. Both are puzzling. Teachers now employed in bilingual programs in California are surely trained and competent to teach English as a second language? If not, it is no wonder that educational outcomes have often been disappointing. Of course it will be necessary to continue to train all teachers in strategies for second-language development, a need which has undoubtedly already been evident for many years. Will every teacher be as competent in this respect as she should ideally be? Probably not, but that is a definition of the on-going responsibility of educational leaders and not a reason why they cannot be expected to require that children be taught English effectively. As for curriculum, that for English as a second language already exists and has for many years, in many different forms, and it would be a neglectful school district in California which did not already possess such materials, assessments, and appropriate texts. Surely every bilingual classroom must possess a supply of reading materials in English suitable for LEP pupils. If not, state and local officials have been terribly neglectful. But I prefer to believe that in fact they have been faithfully meeting their responsibility of ensuring that both teachers and curricula were adequate to ensure that LEP pupils could progress rapidly toward academic proficiency in English.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this _______ day of June 1998, at Boston, Massachusetts.
1. Charles L. Glenn with Ester J. de Jong, Educating
Immigrant Children: Schools and Language Minorities in Twelve Nations,
New York: Garland Publishing, 1996, 741 pages.
Supplemental Declaration of Kenji Hakuta