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letters | CHALLENGES IN BILINGUAL EDUCATION

Dever’s struggles are sign of state’s failure to make full investment

State officials plan to scrap a program at the Dever Elementary School in Dorchester that aims to make students fluent in both English and Spanish.John Blanding/Globe Staff

Re “End of language program protested” (Metro, April 7): The parents and teachers at the Dever Elementary School in Dorchester are right to protest the state’s decision to dismantle its dual-language program. In taking over the schools, state officials claim that having provided literacy and content instruction in two languages played a role in the poor performance of children at the Dever. They then go on to state that such performance was likely due to the fact that teachers were not appropriately trained and that curriculum options were lacking.

Rather than doubling down on shortsightedness, the state should step up and actually invest in dual-language education. Investment in training bilingual teachers and acquiring good bilingual curriculums would be the thoughtful response to the Dever’s struggles.

As it is now, the state is focused on the wrong factors. It is instructional quality, not instructional language, that is going to get our schools where they need to be.

Patrick Proctor
Newton