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Feds, Boston schools reach agreement on how to help students who are not proficient in English

The Boston public schools and the federal government have reached an agreement to ensure that students who are learning English receive the help they need to overcome language barriers, the schools and government agencies said today.

“We have worked hand in hand with our federal partners to find where there were weaknesses in our organization. As a result, we have made dramatic changes in the way we serve students learning English,” School Superintendent Carol Johnson said in a statement.

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The agreement came after a federal investigation determined in October 2010 that the Boston schools had violated the civil rights of thousands of students who spoke limited English by failing to provide specialized instruction. The new agreement replaced an interim agreement announced at that time.

“A key to success is access to a high quality education and today, the Boston Public Schools is promising to provide limited English proficient students an equal opportunity for success by giving them access to programs and services tailored to meet their needs, including access to accelerated programs,” Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, said in a statement.

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