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Eric Dwyer
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The proposed experiment on non-English speaking children would never clear a university's internal review board, nor should it. The proposal is to run an experiment on kids, namely language minority children. The presumption is that there are no data to support the idea of Reading teachers measuring up to ESOL instructors. There's plenty of data showing that ESOL training works more often than not, and there are many ways to link that progress to pre-service training. Furthermore, in places where bilingual education is nixed, teachers still try to take as many ESOL training sessions as they can, simply because they see their need to do so, in spite of the laws. We're fortunate in Florida that we haven't gone that route yet. So, when thinking about helping children, why would you allow someone to experiment on your children, giving them access to less-trained and indeed often less interested teachers? Exposing them to mind-numbingly boring strategies, which have been dissed even by reading specialists for the native English speaking community? The stuff didn't even work for native English speakers very well. Why now experiment on ESOL kids by having them to the same boring stuff, when a good trained ESOL teacher (something on the order of 300 hours or thereabouts) is less likely to do such? This is a civil rights issue, and a quarter million children and their families would pay a huge price if this becomes a go. Please call and email your legislators and the governor. Please ask them to stop this action.
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