Tuesday, August 21, 2018


    The Civil Rights' Division of the US Justice Department announced this weekend that they had reached a settlement with the Providence School District, under which non-native English-speaking students would have adequate access to language courses. The Trump Administration argued that denying English courses to non-native speakers violated the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974. Some 8,000 children and teenagers were being denied remedial English.

     "As a result of this settlement, English Learners will now receive all of the services they are entitled to and deserve, " said US Attorney Stephen Dambruch. Providence mayoral candidate Robert DeRobbio said it better: "Providence students shouldn't need a Federal investigation to get a good education...the current {mayoral} administration has done nothing to improve our schools." 

      The current Mayor of Providence---Democrat Jorge Elorza---declined to comment on the case. It should be noted that Elorza is a former law professor and a graduate of Harvard. 

      Under the settlement, Providence Schools must:

1. Properly identify and place English Learners in all 41 Providence Schools; and work with parents to facilitate all available options.

2. Provide adequate English Language Services to all English Learners so to gain both proficiency and access to core grade-level instruction.

3. Hire a sufficient number of teachers certified in English as a Second Language. 

4. Monitor and evaluate programs for effectiveness. 

     The US Justice and Education Departments will of course monitor Providence's compliance with these conditions. 

     I've often believed that most complaints that Conservatives have about immigrants not assimilating is less the fault of the immigrants and more the fault of our public schools. Our schools teach them not to assimilate. In Providence though that's about to change.

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