Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More reasons to vote YES on Proposition 58

Sent to the Press-Enterprise, Oct 26 (Riverside)

There is even more reason to vote "Yes on Proposition 58" than indicated by the Press-Enterprise editorial (October 25).  Research on the impact of bilingual education versus immersion strongly supports bilingual education. Careful scientific research consistently shows that students in quality bilingual programs outperform students with similar backgrounds on tests of English.
The most recent (and strongest) evidence comes from professors Grace McField (Cal State San Marcos) and David McField (MiraCoasta College), who analyzed the results of 23 comparisons. They concluded that when both program quality and research quality are considered, the superiority of bilingual education was considerably larger than previously reported.
Test scores did indeed increase after bilingual education was dismantled by Prop. 227 in 1998, as claimed by supporters of English immersion, but test scores increased for ALL students in California, not just English learners: A new version of the Stanford 9 test was introduced the year before the English-only law was passed. Scores increased each year as students and teachers became more familiar with the test, a well-documented pattern when new standardized tests are introduced. Research has shown no obvious improvement in English language development resulting from the passage of Prop. 227.

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

23 comparisons: McField, G. and McField, D. 2014.  "The consistent outcome of bilingual education programs: A meta-analysis of meta-analyses." In Grace McField (Ed.) The Miseducation of English Learners. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing. pp. 267-299.
Previous meta-analyses of bilingual education research (all conclude that bilingual education is more effective than English immersion)
Greene, J. (1999). A meta-analysis of the Rossell and Baker review of bilingual education research. Bilingual Research Journal, 21 (2,3): 103-122.
Rolstad, K., Mahoney, K., & Glass, G. (2005). The big picture: A meta-analysis of program effectiveness research on English language learners. Educational Policy 19(4): 572-594.
Slavin, R. and Cheung, A. (2005). A synthesis of research of reading instruction for English language learners, Review of Educational Research 75(2): 247-284.
Willig, A. (1985). A meta-analysis of selected studies on the effectiveness of bilingual education. Review of Educational Research 55(3): 269-317.
Well-documented pattern: Linn, R., Graue, E., and Sanders, N. 1990. Comparing state and district test results to national norms: The validity of claims that “everyone is above average.” Educational  Measurement: Issues and Practice 10: 5-14.
No obvious improvement: Parrish, T. et. al. 2006. Effects of the Implementation of  Proposition 227 on the Education   of English Learners, K–12, American Institutes for Research and WestEd.

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