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05-01-2003

Page history last edited by Mike 12 years, 9 months ago

May 1, 2003

ROMNEY VOWS TO PROTECT ENGLISH IMMERSION LAW

New regulations go into effect in time for start of school in September

 

Governor Mitt Romney and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey today applauded the state Board of Education for approving new regulations for the implementation of the English immersion law when school starts in September.

 

Romney, standing with supporters of last fall’s English immersion ballot question, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters, also warned lawmakers against tampering with the law.

 

“The voters have spoken loud and clear on the issue of bilingual education. We need to respect the wishes of the people of Massachusetts and recognize that immersion creates a level playing field in our classrooms that allows non-English speakers to succeed,” Romney said.

 

The new law requires that all non-English learners, unless they receive a waiver, be enrolled in sheltered English immersion classrooms for at least one year. In these classes, virtually all instruction will be in English, and all books and instructional materials will be in English. Once the students are deemed fluent in English, they will receive instruction in traditional classrooms alongside their native English-speaking peers.

 

This represents a dramatic change from the existing transitional bilingual education system in which limited English proficient students are placed in bilingual education classrooms for up to three years. In these classes, they are taught English, but learn every other subject in their native language as they gradually gain English proficiency.

 

“Bilingual education has led to the establishment of two school systems in Massachusetts – one for children who speak English and another for non-English speakers,” said Healey.

 

Supporters of the law urged lawmakers to follow the voters’ wishes and not attempt to water down the law.

 

“Don’t insult the intelligence and abilities of our young immigrant children by forcing them to return to the same second-rate bilingual education program that has failed to help them,” said Lincoln Tamayo, former chairman of English for the Children, which spearheaded the passage of last year’s ballot initiative.

 

This week, the Board of Education adopted regulations to fully implement Question 2, which was passed overwhelmingly by the voters last November. Beginning in September, school districts across the Commonwealth will be required to offer immersion programs to non-native speakers.

 

Among the regulations:

 

Teachers of English language learners must obtain a license to ensure they have expertise in second language acquisition and knowledge of appropriate subject matter.

District superintendents need to provide annual written assurance to the Department of Education that all teachers of English language classrooms are literate and fluent in English.

Each district must develop procedures to identify students who are English learners and assess their level of English proficiency when they enter the district.

In addition, the Board issued a draft regulation to establish a dispute resolution process on the local and state level that parents must exhaust before filing a legal claim. Romney said this regulation will make it harder for parents to sue teachers, a provision of the law that he opposed.

 

For more information on Question 2 or to read the regulations, look online at www.doe.mass.edu/ell/.

 

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Supporters of English Immersion

 

 

Stephen Adams

President & CEO

Pioneer Institute

 

Maria Baquero

Parent that formally worked with Chelsea High School

 

Engs Co

Clerk

Framingham Post Office

 

David Driscoll

Commissioner of Education

 

Michael Glickman

Director Special Projects

SABIS Educational Systems

 

Margaret Kramer

Head of Lower School

Community Day Charter School

 

Tom McDermott

Managing Director

TPM Associates

 

Maria McDermott

Active Volunteer

 

Kyle Meleski

Director of Public Affairs

Associated Builders & Contractors

 

Attorney Michael Moriarty

Law Office of Ducharme, Moriarty,

& Turcotte

 

Pete Peters

Founding Chairman

Pioneer Institute

 

James Peyser

Chairman

Board of Education

 

Rosalie Porter

Chairman

English for the Children

 

David Rodriguez-Pinzon

President

Economic Development Finance Corp.

 

Rep. Mary Rogeness

(R) Longmeadow

 

Christine H. Rossell

Boston University

Professor of Political Science

 

Carol Sanchez

CPA

Resources Connection

 

Maria Santiago

CPA

Grant Thornton

 

Roberta Schaefer

Member of the Board of Education & Executive Dir. Worcester Regional Research Bureau

 

Dean Doug Sears

Boston University

School of Education

 

Ray Stata

CEO

Analog Devices (Norwood)

 

Lincoln Tamayo

Former Chairman

English for the Children

 

Abigail Thernstrom

Member of the Board of Education & Commission on Civil Right


Governor Mitt Romney and Immigration

 

2003

 

2005

 

2006

  • 12-13-2006, Agreement permits specially trained State Troopers to enforce federal immigration law

 

Immigration Questions for Governor Mitt Romney

  1. Are you in favor of a fence? Greta Van Sustern
  2. Do you support a tamper-proof work status ID card? 1st Debate
  3. Governor Romney, you have also called Senator McCain's immigration plan amnesty. Are you prepared to say that sharing the stage with him tonight? And how do you explain your statement to the Lowell Sun last year in which you said, quote, 'Those that are here paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process toward application for citizenship as they would from their home country.' Why isn't that amnesty as well, sir? (2nd Debate)

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