Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

The bilingual minischool, on the other hand, whose children rarely went to any college-bound special high schools, 69 percent of the children who graduated from the bilingual minischool were accepted into college programs and received scholarships.

This year the percentage is going to be higher. Eighty-two percent of the eighth-graders graduating from the bilingual minischool at the junior high school graduated with diplomas last year.

In the past not one child ever received a diploma from junior high school but was classified non-English-speaking. In terms of academic records, 16 percent of the total school population was on the honor roll.

However, in the bilingual minischool the average was 32 percent on the honor roll. In terms of competing academically with other children throughout the city, the children in the bilingual minischool in the last 4 years have really come out on top.

For example, in the Manhattan boroughwide science competition, the Spanish-dominant students won first and second prizes in the group competition, and they were competing with some ninth grade students from such academic schools as Stuyvesant. This year they won first and second prizes also.

In terms of districtwide competition, the children from the bilingual minischool have always come out among the top. In relation to hard data, in the metropolitan reading and metropolitan math schools, last year the seventh grade increased 2 years in reading and 1 year and 9 months in mathematics.

In terms of reading, the average eighth grade child is near the national norm, and in terms of math, just about 2 months below the national norm. The seventh grade is a little farther behind, but we expect that by the time they graduate from the eighth grade they will be on the national norm.

In terms of the Spanish-language child, the growth rate has been fantastic. In some children it has been 4 or 5 years growth rate as attested by La Prueba de Lectura developed by the Educational Testing Service for the children of Puerto Rico.

These children never before had any kind of success in any kind of academic situation in the school system. These children are ready now to begin to compete on a high school level with other children throughout the city.

What I am trying to show with these figures is that only through bilingual education programs can these children begin to develop the academic skills, social skills, and the other skills necessary in order to function and compete within the New York City school system.

The only reason that these children have been afforded a bilingual program has been through Federal legislation and through a title VII grant. The city has moved, but slowly, in the area of bilingual education.

I think the best motivating factor has been the ESEA title VII legislation. We hope the upcoming legislation will continue to be a motivating factor in providing programs. I am very fearful that if strong legislation is not provided at the Federal level, the city and the State will not continue to be supportive of bilingual education.

In view of the new legislation, I would like to make several recommendations; first, that the legislation cover grades K through

12. In the past this has been mostly for the elementary schools. I presented a junior high school model because I feel strongly that the support has to be across the grade.

There has to be very strong support for teacher training programs. I feel the strongest variable and success of any program is the competency of its teaching staff. At the present time, through bilingual educational programs, many of the universities are reevaluating the types of teacher training programs that they have.

I think that with a strong component in the new legislation providing for this training, we will have better teachers in our class

rooms.

I feel that the curriculum projects that now exist throughout the country must continue to be supported because we do not have sufficient curriculum materials. We have some excellent materials being developed now for grades K through 4, but in the secondary school we still need many more materials.

I also feel that national projects which now exist-I put national in quotes because this past year the emphasis of the division of bilingual education in Washington has tried to change these and make it more local instead of national-will have to be continued and have to be supported, because in this way there will be less duplication of effort across the country and it could bring the many bilingual communities closer together.

I would also like to plead, as a past project director, to have much more of an opportunity to put more input into the new guidelines because in the past we have had to implement the guidelines, and we are the ones closest to the field and actually have a better concept of how these guidelines should be gone into in these different projects.

And lastly, I urge that the national advisory board, which will be part of this national legislation, include persons who have some sort of experience in dealing with bilingual-bicultural programs because many times people are appointed, and these are solely political appointments and by the time they learn the essence of bilingual education, a year or two has passed.

Thank you.

Mr. BADILIO. Thank you very much. These are very helpful reccommendations. We are glad to have them and certainly will include them in the record.

[The material referred to follows:]

PREPARED STATEMENT OF AWILDA ORTA, PRESIDENT, NEW YORK CITY COMMISSION

ON BILINGUAL EDUCATION

Bilingual Education is a viable education program for all children. The first priority must continue to be the child who is non-English dominant. However, the definitions, target population and characteristics of Bilingual Education programs, which were developed for ESEA, title VII cover with some authority those areas which need to be included.

As President of the City-wide commission on Bilingual Education, I sit on a board which advises the Chancellor of the New York City School System. It is representative of the Puerto Rican, Haitian, Chinese, Italian, Greek, and Jewish and other spanish-speaking communities located in New York. The goal of each of these groups is to make certain that good bilingual programs are developed for each of their communities. Good bilingual education programs for children. That and only that should be the prime goal of this legislation. Since the very inception of a United States of America, bilingual education programs have been part of the American way of life. Only during a very dark

period in American History, when people tried to close themselevs within their natural boundaries in order to protect what they feared they might lose, was legislation passed against it. Only when the federal government led the way in 1968 with legislation was this trend reversed. The rights of all children to receive an education were restored.

Children now have the opportunity to participate in a program which will take into account their backgrounds, their talents and their individual needs. Once again the federal government must take the lead. For without continued government assistance, support in the individual states would waiver.

History supports Bilingual Education. Different ethnolinguistic groups from across the country have petitioned the government on all levels for legislation to provide resources in order to establish programs. Educators, linguists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, parents, and others have made a strong case for Bilingual Education. Recent court cases have firmly underlined the need for such programs. My intention here is not to re-state this case. For if there is any doubt in your minds at this point in time, nothing can change it. My main thrust with this testimony is to illustrate that bilingual-bicultural programs are successful. It has been proven time and again the bilingualbicultural programs are needed. I will show you that they do indeed provide solutions.

The pages that follow include a needs assessment, a model for a junior high school and most importantly the results such a program has on its clients.

I-OBJECTIVE CRITERIA And Needs foR THIS ASSISTANCE

A. OBJECTIVE CRITERIA

The Bilingual Mini-School at Junior High School 45 is located in New York City's Community School District No. 4. The area is traditionally known as Spanish Harlem or more popularly, "El Barrio".

Twenty-Two schools service the children of "El Barrio". There are 18 elementary schools and 4 intermediate and junior high schools.

According to the Special census conducted on October 31, 1972, there are 17,577 children in the schools of District No. 4. 11,183 are Spanish speaking, most of whom are Puerto Rican. 6,394 are classified as "Others". The Spanishspeaking children form 64% of the total schoolage population.

The Bilingual Mini-School is located within one school in District No. 4. This school, John S. Roberts J.H.S. 45 Man., has a total school population of 1,148. 770 of these children are Spanish speaking. This constitutes 67% of the total school population.

B. NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Community School District No. 4, located in Manhattan's East side is a low socio-economic area. The majority of the persons living in the area are Puerto Rican and Black. The Puerto Rican children represent 64% of all the children attending school in the District.

The District is serviced by 18 elementary schools and 4 intermediate and junior high schools. With the exception of P.S. 112, all of the schools are ranked in the bottom 27% of all the elementary schools in the City of New York. These figures are provided by the 4th annual ranking of schools by reading achievement submitted by the Bureau of Educational Research on September, 1973.

There are 630 elementary schools in New York City. P.S. 112, which is only a K-3 school, is ranked 309th. 36.4% of its pupil population is reading on or above grade level in English. Recent tests indicate that the greatest drop in reading grades begin between the third and fourth grades. Therefore, the ranking of P.S. 112 is relative. P.S. 206, the school that continues with P.S. 112's grades 4-6, is ranked 529th. While P.S. 112 has 36.4% of its pupils reading on grade level in English, P.S. 206 has only 19.9% of its pupils reading on grade level. The children that attend P.S. 206 were formerly students of P.S. 112. All of the other schools range in ranking from 457th to 625th. Of these schools 13 are ranked in the last 100 schools in the City. When we examine the information closer, we see that there is a high correlation between low reading scores and high numbers of Spanish-speaking children in each of the schools. P.S. 108, which is ranged the highest in the District, 457th (not counting P.S. 206) has only 24.1% of its school population reading on or above grade level in English. The lowest ranked school, 625th, P.S. 96, has only 10.7% of its students reading on or above grade level in English. In P.S. 108, 71% of the school populaton is Spanish speaking. In P.S. 96, 76%

of the pupil population is Spanish speaking. This school has also the highest percentage of Spanish-speaking pupils. In the entire District over 49% of each school's population is Spanish speaking.

CHART I.-COMPARISON OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL RANKING AND PERCENTAGE OF SPANISH-SPEAKING PUPILS

[blocks in formation]

In all of the junior high schools, over 51% of their pupil population is Spanish speaking. However, in these higher grade levels, while the percentage of Spanishspeaking pupils remain about the same, the percentage of pupils reading on or above grade level decreases. Of the 166 junior high schools in the City, the 4 junior high schools in District No. 4 are among the lowest.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

While the reading grades are low, the math scores are just as low. The greatest drop in both reading and math scores occurs between the 3rd and the 4th grades. You begin to see the drastic results by the end of the 5th grade. Take the results of the Metropolitan Achievement test in Math given in May, 1973. Of all the children who took the test; 30% of the third graders were on level in math, while only 30% of the fifth graders were on level. These figures continue to decrease when the children reach the junior high school level.

There is a great need to develop a comprehensive bilingual program for all the schools in District No. 4. There is a need to make the community aware of the great need for more bilingual education programs. The emphasis on the district level should not be limited to the elementary schools, but a good bilingual program on the junior high school level is a must. The junior high school program would not only be the continuation of the elementary school program, but would serve as a port of entry for recent arrivals from Puerto Rico and other Spanish-speaking countries.

The Nation-wide stress in the field of bilingual education has been on the elementary school level. The importance has been placed in working with the child from the very beginning of his educational experience in a school setting. The path from pre-K through grade 6 has been carefully laid out. There has been some attempt to provide support for programs in Grades 7 through 12 (junior and senior high). However, the attempts have not been of the same caliber. There is no comparable drive to develop programs on the intermediate level. Thoroughout the City, many schools districts have developed good models for bilingual

education on the elementary school level. The need now is to develop a good
model for a junior high or intermediate school. This would not only provide a
guide for the other junior high schools in the District, it would also serve as a
model for all the junior high school programs in the City.

The Staff Development Components and the Parent Components would be
highlighted. The Instructional Component would be a creative vehicle of growth
and discovery on the part of both students and their teachers. The program
would also serve as a resource for the acquisition, adaptation and development
of materials solely for the junior high school. Most of the work in the acquisi-
tion and development of materials is centered on the very early elementary
grades. The national projects have not yet begun to look at the needs of the
intermediate grades in terms of materials.

Additional efforts must be placed in demonstrating the importance of bilingual
programs on the secondary level and refining the articulation procedures with
the senior high school. It is of extreme importance that the effort in bilingual
education begin at pre-K and continue through grade 12. All the supportive
services needed to carry on this task must be given top priority.

[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ForrigeFortsett »