I, Rosalie Pedalino Porter, do state and declare as follows:
1. My name is Rosalie Pedalino Porter. I am the Director of Research and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Research in English Acquisition and Development, Inc. ("READ") in Amherst, MA, and Washington, D.C. I am also the Editor of a scholarly journal on the education of language minority students, READ Perspectives.
2. I hold a doctorate in Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language (ESL) conferred by the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in 1982, as well as a Masters of Education (1979) and Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude (1974) from the same institution. From 1979-1980, I was a Visiting Scholar at the University of London Institute of Education.
3. I am at present a member, by appointment of the Governor, of the Massachusetts Education Reform Review Commission, the English Language Learners Focus Group, and the State Advisory Council on Bilingual Education. From 1985-1988, I served, by appointment of the United States Secretary of Education, as a member of the National Advisory and Coordinating Council on Bilingual Education, of the United States Department of Education. I was a Research Fellow at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College in 1987-1988 and a Fullbright Lecturer under the auspices of the United States Department of State in Rome, Italy, in 1992-1993. I am a former member of the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL), 1987-1989, and former Chair of the Program Advisors' Group of the International Association for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), 1986-1987. I am the author of Forked Tongue: The Politics of Bilingual Education (Basic Books, 1990; 2nd edition, Transaction Publishers, 1996). I have authored numerous articles on the topic of educating English language learners. A copy of my Curriculum Vitae is appended to this Declaration as Attachment A.
4. My professional experience includes five years as a Spanish Bilingual and ESL teacher in Springfield, MA, from 1974-1979. From 1980-1990, I was the Coordinator of Bilingual and ESL Programs for the Newton Public Schools in Newton, Massachusetts, for children in nursery schools through 12th grade. For the past eight years, in addition to my work with the READ Institute, I have been a consultant to a number of school districts seeking to develop, evaluate and improve their programs for Limited-English Proficient students, and am a frequent speaker and author on the education of language minority students.
5. I have reviewed the Proposition 227 initiative (English for the Children) and I am qualified to testify on the implementation of the educational requirements under this law. I have served as an expert witness in court cases in this field, including Teresa P. et al v. Berkeley Unified School District, San et al v. Seattle School District, and Quiroz et al v. California State Board of Education. I am familiar with the legal requirements for programs for LEP students. I am familiar with the 1981 decision of the United States Court of Appeals in the case of Castaneda v. Pickard, 648 F.2d 989 (55 Cir. 1981), and the implementation of the well-known Castaneda standards in school districts throughout the country.
6. In my own research and writing during the past few years, I have carefully reviewed a number of programs employing an intensive English teaching model, similar to that required under Proposition 227. Despite the various labels given to immersion programs, i.e., Sheltered English Immersion, Structured Immersion, Content-Based Language Teaching, English as a Second Language, Sheltered Content Courses, the overarching goal of these programs is the rapid and effective learning of a second language (English) for the purpose of learning school subjects taught in English. Technically, immersion programs do not teach in the native language of the student. However, when feasible, a teacher may use a word or phrase in that language to clarify a new concept or to help children feel at ease, in the early weeks of school.
7. There is a clear distinction between the varieties of bilingual education (transitional, maintenance, two-way, dual-immersion) and the varieties of English-language teaching programs referred to above. Bilingual programs assign children to a separate track of schooling for three to seven years, teach all school subjects including reading and writing in the native language for several years, and delay the teaching of English literacy for three or four years. English intensive programs immerse the students in the second language from the first day of school, use a special curriculum to teach school subjects in a comprehensible manner, and teach literacy skills (speaking, reading and writing) in English.
8. The goal of immersion is to integrate limited-English students with their English-speaking classmates in mainstream classrooms as rapidly and effectively as possible. Although the objective of all programs for language minority children is the same -- removing the language barrier to an equal educational opportunity -- the multiplicity of labels should not confuse the main issue. In my judgment, the basic approach that best serves the need of limited-English children is the early, intensive learning of English.
9. Based on my professional experience and my knowledge of the research, the case for the benefits of bilingual programs over other instructional models has not been established in California or in any other state that has implemented native language teaching programs over the past 25 years. The latest (1997) and most comprehensive report on the status of bilingual education, the National Research Council report, Improving Schooling for Language Minority Children: A Research Agenda, contains these two conclusions:
a. "We do not know whether there will be long-term advantages or disadvantages to initial literacy instruction in the native language versus English, given a very high quality program of known effectiveness in both cases." (page 177.)
b. "It is clear that many children first learn to read in a second language without serious negative consequences." (page 60.)
10. The NRC report confirms the findings in earlier studies from the American Institutes of Research (1978), the U.S. Department of Education (Baker and De-Kanter, 1981), Dade County Curriculum Content Project (1987), El Paso Bilingual Immersion Project (1991), and Rossell-Baker analysis (1996) that can be summed up best in the Baker and De-Kanter conclusion: "The case for the effectiveness of Transitional Bilingual Education is so weak that exclusive reliance on this instructional method is clearly not justified."
11. There is no evidence that the new Sheltered English Immersion program cannot work and an abundance of evidence that native language instruction programs in California and other states have produced disappointing results most of the time. The 4-year New York study of 11,000 limited-English students published in 1994 reported these two major conclusions: (1) "At all grade levels, students served in ESL-only programs exited their programs faster than those served in bilingual programs" (p. ii), and (2) "Students who tested out of LEP-entitlement after one or two years of service generally performed above average on the citywide tests of reading (in English) and mathematics that were given in Spring 1994." (p. ix.) (Educational Progress of Students for Bilingual and ESL Programs: A Longitudinal Study, 1990-1994, October 1994, Board of Education of City of N.Y.)
12. The concept for the immersion method of teaching a new language is well-established and of proven success in other immigrant-receiving countries, most notably Canada and Israel. The most well-documented study of immersion programs is the large-scale experiment in St. Lambert (Montreal), a French Immersion program for English speakers. English-speaking children were taught entirely in French for the first three years of school by trained teachers. Very good results were reported in both second language and subject matter learning. (Fred Genesee, "Scholastic Effects of French Immersion: An Overview After 10 Years," Interchange No. 4, 1979.) An adaptation of the Canadian immersion strategy can be implemented in California schools.
13. Israel represents an entirely immigrant society that has used an intensive immersion experience for new arrivals, children and adults alike for 50 years. The need to integrate immigrants from dozens of countries, speaking dozens of languages, into the mainstream society has resulted in the development of the Hebrew immersion model for school children that produces fluency in the national language for school purposes in one to two years at most.
14. Since bilingual education in the United States was initiated in 1968 through federal guidelines and subsequently by state laws, English language programs have received almost no support and have been actively discouraged. This explains the limited number of research studies on this method in the United States. The Fairfax County, VA, Public Schools, with 5,000 limited-English students from 90 different language backgrounds, began an intensive English program in the 1970s that was carefully scrutinized by the Office of Civil Rights for five years before it was given full approval in 1980. The OCR declared that although Fairfax was not teaching students in their native language, there was clear evidence that the students were learning both English and their school subjects and were performing at grade level after leaving the ESL program, generally in one to three years.
15. Since the 1980's programs using English to instruct LEP students have been growing in numbers in other school districts across the country for two main reasons: (1) years of experience with native language instruction, almost entirely for Spanish speakers, has yielded disappointing results in academic achievement and in reducing high school dropouts rates, and (2) the increasing variety of languages represented in U.S. public schools make the full implementation of bilingual programs unrealistic. A representative sample of English teaching programs with which I have had professional experience includes the Bethlehem, PA, English Acquisition Program, the Fairfax County Public Schools ESL Program, and the Seattle, WA, and Newton, MA programs for English language learners. These partial immersion programs are good examples of successful programs for LEP children that use the instruction in English approach.
16. Many districts across the country are essentially providing structured English immersion, especially from speakers of languages other than Spanish, but call their programs "bilingual" to avoid the ostracism routinely directed at alternative models. (See Rossell and Baker, 1996; Porter 1990 and 1995.) The U.S. Department of Education commissioned a study that monitored and reported on exemplary educational programs for limited-English students in nine U.S. cities (W. Tikunoff, et al., A Descriptive Study of Significant Features of Exemplary Special Alternative Instructional Programs, 1991). The study details the successful performance of students and teaching methods in programs that teach entirely in English without native language support.
17. The Sheltered English Immersion model proposed by Proposition 227 sets the general parameters for an early, intensive introduction of English. This model is consistent with established programs, uses the latest advances in the second language teaching field, and is an educationally sound approach. A variety of specific programs can be developed by school districts under the approach specified in Proposition 227, depending on these factors: age and previous educational background of the limited-English children enrolled in each school district; the proportions of limited-English students to native speakers of English in the entire school; and the level of English proficiency of the children when they first enroll in school. Once these characteristics of a school population have been assessed, plans for grouping students in appropriate classrooms for special instruction can be made.
18. Grouping together limited-English speakers from different language backgrounds, across grade levels, is the practice in many schools across the country and is in fact allowed under Massachusetts law. The elements of California's English Language Development (ELD), English as a Second Language (ESL), Sheltered Content Courses, and Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE), can all be used in the Sheltered English Immersion Program provided under or by Proposition 227, as well as any other creative English teaching practices that may emerge. Using these approaches in Immersion classrooms follows a natural progression. From a focus on ESL early in the year through the ELD and SDAIE strategies in content teaching makes an effective transition to the mainstream. It is important to reiterate here that the typical school day for immersion students will include a wide variety of activities including English language literacy and comprehensible content instruction in all the grade appropriate subjects.
19. Proposition 227 does not preclude joint activities between English immersion students and students in mainstream classrooms at certain times of the day or week. Art or music lessons, physical education, or any special activity that teachers plan can bring language minority and majority students together beneficially. Flexibility in the application of 227 rests on the imagination of the teaching staff and the resources of the school. Proposition 227 does not legislate classroom organization or teaching methods.
20. The strengths of Proposition 227's focus on intensive English teaching are several. (1) The critical age hypothesis for second language acquisition has long been recognized by linguists, i.e., that the optimal time to learn a second language is between age three and five or as soon thereafter as possible, and certainly before the onset of puberty. (2) The time-on-task principle accepted by educators universally also applies to second language learning -- the more time spent learning a subject, the better that subject will be learned. (3) The sooner English language and literacy are acquired, the sooner school subjects can be learned in English; the longer English is delayed, the more complex and demanding is the academic subject matter to be learned in English and the greater the danger of students falling behind permanently. (4) Integrating limited-English students as soon as possible with their English-speaking peers removes the stigma of extended segregation. English language learners benefit from the classroom interaction that speeds second language development.
21. English immersion programs include the teaching of the core curriculum and so will the Sheltered English Immersion proposed by Proposition 227. The classic immersion model uses a content-based approach. This is not a novelty -- I used this content-based English teaching approach in my classrooms, teaching fifth and sixth grade students science, mathematics and social studies 20 years ago. I trained and observed teachers using this technique in Newton for 10 years. English immersion programs develop all four language skills simultaneously -- listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. This is another development in applied linguistics of the past quarter century, one for which ESL and ELD teachers have been trained. The old-fashioned, grammar based approach that focused on spoken English only, delaying reading and writing for several months, and using sterile, repetitive drills has not been part of any teacher training in years.
22. Under Proposition 227's sheltered English Immersion approach, learning subject matter content in a second language can begin to occur in a matter of weeks, starting with the subjects that can be partially understood through symbols (mathematics), active experiments and demonstrations (science), and progressing to the social science. The length of time needed to be able to do regular classroom work in English varies from child to child depending on factors of prior fluency in English, age, educational background, individual motivation, and the quality of the program provided by the school. Proposition 227 does not forbid schools from giving English language learners more than one year of intensive English or from providing further support in the mainstream classroom, if deemed necessary.
23. Proposition 227 refers to achievement of a "good working knowledge of English" as the standard for transition to a mainstream classroom. That standard is much like other standards currently in use, such as "academic fluency in English" or "the ability to perform ordinary class work in English," the official term used in Massachusetts. However, regardless of the label used, the real issue is preparedness for advancement to a mainstream classroom. Preparedness for advancement to a mainstream classroom may be determined by a number of measures: English language tests, report card grades, teacher recommendations, portfolios, standardized tests. There is nothing in Proposition 227 that forbids entry or exit or language proficiency testing of students, or, in fact, the determination of teacher competencies or the adaptation of curricula. Specific policy and regulations in these areas can be developed and distributed to all districts by the State Board of Education and the Department of Education, to fulfill the orderly and consistent implementation of the law.
24. The transition to mainstream process for students in Sheltered English Immersion will be much more flexible than the current standard used for bilingual programs. LEP students in California bilingual programs do not transition to mainstream classroom until they have been "reclassified" or "redesignated" as "fluent English proficient" (FEP), which means they are no longer designated as LEP. This typically occurs after five to seven years. In contrast, LEP students in immersion programs (like those provided for in Proposition 227) will be in a mainstream classroom much sooner, many after one year. Furthermore, even when LEP children are in a Proposition 227 immersion program they could be joined with mainstream classroom students for part of the day. This exposure could begin with the first day of instruction. When LEP children move to mainstream classrooms they may or may not be redesignated as FEP. Redesignation at the point of transition to mainstream is not mandated by Proposition 227. The progress of immersion students can and should be assessed during and at the end of each school year to determine the proper individual services needed, both before and, if needed, after transition to a mainstream classroom.
25. It does not require perfect English language skills in order to learn school subjects taught in English. Far less harm is done by advancing a student into a mainstream classroom while she must still strive with certain elements of grammar than the much greater harm done when, as in many bilingual programs, English language literacy is delayed for three or more years, making it almost impossible for English language learners to catch up with their classmates.
26. Based on my knowledge and experience, limited-English students enter California schools with different levels of English language ability, some have studied the language in their land of origin. It is erroneous to assume that LEP students are all totally non-English speaking. The U.S. General Accounting Office study (Limited-English Proficiency: A Growing and Costly Education Challenge Facing Many School Districts, 1994) reported that 57% of all students in bilingual programs are born on the U.S. mainland. One year of special, intensive, content-based English language teaching will be enough for many students, depending on the factors cited above in paragraph 22.
27. Most importantly, student achievement also depends on the quality of teaching and on teacher expectations (high level, achievable standards) for English Language Learners. It is erroneous to predict failure for any substantial number of students. The phrase "not normally to exceed one year" does not and should not establish any numerical quota for exiting students to mainstream classrooms before they are prepared or for inappropriately assigning students to special education programs or retention in grade. It is each district's responsibility to ensure that these harmful practices do not occur.
28. Entry and exit procedures for bilingual programs have been severely criticized over the years. Children have been inappropriately assigned to native language classrooms due to the use of unreliable tests or on the basis of ethnic group identification. Once enrolled, students have been wrongfully kept in bilingual programs, years beyond the time they needed it. One example of this is a court case brought by 80 Latino families in Brooklyn, New York. Bushwick Parents Organization v. Richard P. Mills, Commissioner of Education of the State of New York, 1995, alleged (1) that students are incorrectly assigned to bilingual classrooms on the basis of a Hispanic last name, often against the wishes of their parents or guardians; (2) that students are kept in bilingual classrooms not only beyond the state-mandated three year-limit, but even beyond the six-year limit allowable through the waiver process; and (3) that no individual review of student progress is ever done before granting tens of thousands of waivers for extended placements in native language classrooms.
29. Program choice is available under Proposition 227. The waiver process for parents to petition a school district to provide an alternative program is no more restrictive or onerous than the process in place for several years. It has been a California requirement that school administrators notify parents of the assignment of students to bilingual classrooms, allowing parents to decline the placement within 30 days in writing. The responsibility for requesting an alternative to a special school program has always rested on parent initiative first.
30. Parents are not excluded from helping their children under the Sheltered English Immersion program. The erroneous assumption is made that all parents of 1.4 million children in California are non-English speakers. As a professional educator, I have counseled parents to read to their children in their native language or in English, whichever language they know best. It is, of course, helpful if parents are developing English language skills along with their children, and this will be promoted by Proposition 227's funding for adult ESL classes. Parents can be informed about their children's academic progress by teachers with bilingual fluency and can be encouraged to volunteer for school activities -- none of these activities are precluded by 227. However, the major responsibility for removing the language barrier to an equal education rests squarely on the public schools.
31. The prediction of administrative chaos is an exaggeration. Based on my 10 years of experience as a school administrator, I believe the Sheltered English Immersion programs can be implemented within the 60-day period provided in Proposition 227 for the following reasons: (1) California has had various ESL-type programs as part of bilingual instruction or as stand-alone programs for over 20 years -- it is not a matter of starting from scratch but of modifying existing models; (2) tens of thousands of trained, state credentialed ELD professionals are presently teaching in California districts -- more need to be trained, and training needs to be given to those mainstream classroom teachers who are not yet experienced in teaching English language learners; (3) curriculum models exist in most California districts now and can be modified and disseminated to other districts to fit their own particular needs; (4) textbooks for the teaching of English language learners are in California schools now and a dazzling variety is available form many U.S. publishers; (5) some teacher training can take place before the opening of schools in September and additional workshops can be planned during the school year; (6) school administrators can assess the needs of their individual school populations, based on present enrollments and estimates of new entrants, and begin the preliminary planning of classroom configurations, staff assignments, textbook purchases, and curriculum adaptations during the summer months.
32. When bilingual education was legally mandated in Massachusetts in 1971, there was a period of only a few months between passage of the law and its implementation. Because it was establishing an entirely new and completely unknown program for which there was no cadre of special teachers or textbooks available, it was not perfect overnight and some upheavals occurred in the schools. In contrast, there are pre-existing English language teaching programs in a majority of California school districts now. With the help of the State Board of Education and the Department of Education, and relying on the elements enumerated above in paragraph 31, school personnel can implement Proposition 227 within 60 days without undue disruption. If the Proposition 227 program is not perfect from the first day, that is understandable and improvements will be made as expeditiously as possible.
33. Beyond high school graduation, the quality of schooling provided to English language learners has a profound effect on each student's ability to pursue higher education, meaningful work, and the responsibilities of citizenship. A newly published study by Mark Lopez, University of Maryland, and Marie T. Mora of New Mexico State University, reports on the labor market earnings of Hispanic workers. They concluded the following, "Utilizing data from High School and Beyond, we find that first and (to a lesser extent) second generation Hispanics who attended a bilingual education program earn significantly less than their otherwise similar English-immersed peers who received monolingual English instruction. . . ." The implications of this early research on the long-term effects of certain types of schooling are self-evident. A summary of Lopez-Mora research is contained in APPENDIX II of the material submitted by defendant Pete Wilson in this litigation.
I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California
that the foregoing is true and correct and that this declaration was executed
on June _____, 1998 in Amherst, Massachusetts.
ROSALIE PEDALINO PORTER
Supplemental Declaration of Kenji Hakuta