This research proposal extensively focuses on the national and state language politics and policy aired in the United States in the BBC Radio program, Around Us. The issues discussed herein aired on this radio program range from excerpts of vital landmark court cases in fields such as education and issues affecting English Language learners. This is in line with the set principles on education as put forward in the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and Annual Yearly Progress (AYP).There have been a number of legislations and court cases that have been significant cornerstones in the past years as in relation to English learners. Around Us analyzed some of these cases and legislations and presented the following report.
“This is your favorite program Around Us and I am your host Mellissa Rahgo. With me is our special edition guest, Mr. Lin Kim, a lawyer championing for equal education access rights for foreigners. In today’s edition, we shall look at past legislation enacted in support of English Language Learners. We shall also tackle landmark court cases in the past in relation to our day’s topic. Let’s take a look at our first case ruled in 1954 by the U.S Supreme court between Brown versus the Board of Education, 347 U.S 483 which was decided on May 17, 1954 in the district of Kansas as follows:
“Today, education is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him (her) for later professional training, and in helping him (her) to adjust normally to his (her) environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he (she) is denied the opportunity of an education.”
Another court case in 1974 was also upheld in favor of English Learners by the U.S. Supreme Court as a valid interpretation of the requirement of Title VI in the 25 May memorandum in Lau vs. Nichols as follows:
“Basic English Skills are at the very core of what…public schools teach. Imposition of a requirement that, before a child can effectively participate in the educational program, he must already have acquired those basic skills, is to make a mockery of public education.”
“Mr. Lin, what do you make of this?” Mr. Lin on air: “I suppose that these rulings were vital in oveturning earlier rulings. The basic need put forward by people with the urge to learn English as a language should be upheld and respected. This is even further exemplified by the Castaneda vs. Pickard case in 1981 which formulated a method to determine if a school district was in compliance with the Equal Education Opportunities Act enacted in 1974. Allow me to quote the Supreme Court’s ruling as follows:
The school is pursuing a program informed by an educational theory recognized as sound by some experts in the field or, at least, deemed legitimate experimental strategy; the program and practices actually used by (the) school system are reasonably calculated to implement effectively the educational theory adopted by the school; and the school’s program succeeds, after a legitimate trial, in producing results indicating that the language barriers confronting students are actually being overcome.
This was a 3-way criterion that ensures that this fundamental right was further embedded in the U.S laws. It is of essence for us to note that Castaneda commented that the benefits which would accrue to limited English proficient students by remedying language barriers which impede their ability to realize their academic potential in an English language educational institution may outweigh the adverse effects of such segregation. This was a very powerful statement that sheds light on this issue with a new dimension altogether.”
Mellissa on air: “In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court in Plyler vs. Doe ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from denying a free public education to undocumented immigrant children regardless of the immigrant status. The judge stated that:
“Undocumented alien children cannot be denied a free, public education because such a denial would violate their constitutional right of equal protection. Visiting condemnation on the head of an infant is illogical and unjust. Moreover, imposing disabilities on the child is contrary to the basic concepts of our system that legal burdens should bear some relationship to individual responsibility or wrongdoing. Obviously, no child is responsible for his or her birth and penalizing the child is an ineffectual – as well as unjust – way of deterring the parent.”
Was this an utter confirmation that time was ripe for this to be embedded wholly in the constitution?” Mr. Kim: “An act on English learning had actually been passed in 1964 in a well-documented law referred to as Title VI, Civil Rights Act in the United States Code 1703 25 May memorandum. This was further reflected in the Equal Educational Opportunities Act, 1974.
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