This week the Eugene School District 4J Board of Directors came out in opposition to Measure 58. According to their resolution released on Wednesday, the measure would severely reduce the "district’s authority and ability to meet the unique needs our students who must learn English – while also learning academic skills".
If passed by voters in November, Measure 58 would prohibit teaching a public school student in a language other than English for more than two years. Education experts around the nation agree that the most effective way to help students learn English and promote high academic achievement has nothing to do with an arbitrary timeline.
In fact, children learn English more quickly, along with math, science and other academic subjects, when at least some of their instruction is in their native language. If passed, Measure 58 would take effective and proven teaching methods out of the hands of educators.
The Eugene School District 4J Board of Directors is projected to be just one of the many school boards that will come out in opposition to Measure 58 due to the negative and long-lasting impact it will have on children trying to learn English.
Below is a copy of Eugene School District 4J Board of Director's resolution.
Statewide Prohibition of Teaching Public School Students in Language other than English for More than 1-2 Years
WHEREAS, Ballot Measure 58 and its resulting ballot measure would establish a statewide policy that English is the "language of opportunity" and mandate that non-English speaking students shall be immersed in English so they can be mainstreamed as quickly as possible; and
WHEREAS, Ballot Measure 58 proposes to place non-English speaking students in English immersion classes for state-specified, limited time periods based on grade level (a maximum of 1 year for K-4 students; 1.5 years for grades 5-8; and 2 years for grades 9-12); and
WHEREAS, this measure and its impact is not consistent with nationally-recognized best practices for serving non-English speaking students; and
WHEREAS, current, district-specified courses being taught to assist non-English speaking students who are unable to benefit from classes taught in English would effectively be eliminated,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Eugene School District 4J Board of Directors strongly opposes Ballot Measure 58 because it severely reduces our authority and ability to meet the unique needs of our students who must learn English – while also learning academic skills.
Adopted this 20th day of August, 2008
Chair, Board of Directors
Eugene School District 4J
Measure Limiting English Learning to Cost Oregonians a Quarter of a Billion Dollars
Fiscal Impact of Measure 58
Ballot Title and Statement
Anti-ELL Instruction Measure Assigned Ballot Number