September 13, 2012
In the last hours of the 2012 Legislative Session, Assemblyman Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles) successfully persuaded the Assembly to unanimously adopt HR 43 that will encourage the state legislature to provide funds for Standard English language assessment and instruction. According to recent statistics, California’s educational performance ranks 47 out of 50 in the nation. Improving the performance of students will also help the California School Systems performance status improve, say advocates of the bill.
“The passage of HR 43 was significant because there is no resolution of any kind regarding Standard English learners,” explained Davis.
“It will send a message to the superintendent of public instruction to focus on improving the academic performance of SELs. Anytime you have a group of students with no way to improve academic performance it is clear why our public schools cannot overcome the challenges that exist in our schools. HR 43 is the foundation for future legislation and outlines specific objectives to make these improvements.”
When English language limitations go undetected it allows the achievement gap to widen as a student matriculates through the California school system, making post-secondary educational opportunities and career success a dim possibility. This resolution provides support for serving the needs of SELs by supplying culturally and linguistically responsive materials along with research based, culturally and linguistically responsive interventions to close this gap, say advocates.
“There are two million SELs in the California School System and they include American Indians, Mexican Americans, African Americans, Hawaiians, and others,” cites Davis.
The resolution lays a framework upon which we can bring more resources to assist students achieve their best academic performance. HR 43 was sponsored by the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators and the California NAACP.