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letters | schools’ language barriers persist

In lagging on bilingual education, we’re squandering valuable asset

Thank you for your editorial “Boston needs legislative fix to aid English-language learners” (March 31). As educators with a specialized focus on closing the achievement gap for English-language learners, we know firsthand that the one-size-fits-all approach to teaching English has been an utter failure. The Boston Globe was right to suggest that the problem can only be remedied by passing legislation that gives educators and local school officials every tool available to teach English.

In addition, proficiency in more than one language is a critical skill in the globalized 21st-century economy, and yet we do little to develop these students’ native language abilities. Let’s invest in our students by offering programs that lead to bilingualism and high academic achievement, instead of squandering this valuable asset.

We also would like to highlight that similar legislation has been filed and championed by state Senator Sal DiDomenico, for which we are grateful.

Phyllis Hardy
Helen Solorzano

The writers are members of the Massachusetts Language Opportunity Coalition. Hardy is past president of the Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education, and Solorzano is executive director of Massachusetts Educators of English Language Learners.