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Judge rules Texas’ bilingual education is inadequate

I don’t know what the practical effects of this are going to be, but it sure sounds like a big deal.

A federal judge’s ruling that Texas is not living up to its obligation to properly educate students who struggle with the English language gives hope to many of those children with dismal academic achievement, a civil rights lawyer said Monday.

The state of Texas is not complying with the federal Equal Education Opportunity Act, in that public schools are failing their obligation to overcome language barriers, Senior U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice said in a 95-page ruling on Friday.

“The failure of secondary (limited English proficient) students under every metric clearly and convincingly demonstrates student failure, and accordingly, the failure of the (English as a Second Language) secondary program in Texas,” Justice wrote in the opinion, which reversed his 2007 ruling in the case.

Justice’s ruling disappointed Texas Education Agency officials. “We’re continuing to study this latest ruling, but it is likely that we will ask the attorney general to appeal it,” agency spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said.

Attorneys for Attorney General Greg Abbott also are studying the ruling, “and we are weighing the prospects of an appeal,” said Abbott spokesman Tom Kelley.

I don’t see any mention in the story as to a remedy, legislative or otherwise, that is being mandated, and I also don’t see the name of the lawsuit, so I’m not sure how to find a copy of the ruling. Be that as it may, it seems likely to me that this is something the Lege will have to address in some fashion, along with so many other school-related issues. Whether it’s in 2009 or later, I couldn’t say. Can anyone help me fill in the gaps here? Thanks.

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One Comment

  1. Kenneth Fair says:

    The case is United States v. Texas, No. 6:71-cv-5281-WWJ (E.D. Tex. 2008). A link to the court’s opinion is here.