School districts and county offices of education will solicit input on, and provide to students, effective and appropriate instructional methods, including, but not limited to, establishing language acquisition programs, as defined in EC Section 306. This requirement is intended to ensure that all students, including English learners and native speakers of English, have access to the core academic content standards, including the English language development standards, as applicable, and become proficient in English.
The United States (U.S.) Supreme Court ruled in 1974 to affirm the rights of English learners to have equal access to a meaningful education. The civil rights of the class of students were violated by not being granted access to (1) English language development programs nor to, (2) meaningful access to the curriculum. Most importantly, equality in this case meant providing a program appropriate and targeted to the needs of English learners, and not just the same as what is provided to native speakers of English.
Local educational agencies enrolling English learner students have a dual obligation to provide a program for English learners designed to overcome language barriers and provide access to the core curriculum (Castañeda v. Pickard 648 F.2d 989, [5th Cir. 1981]). This court ruling defines appropriate programming for English learners. The three prongs of the Castañeda ruling ask that the policies and practices adopted by a school or district be (1) based on sound educational theory, (2) implemented with sufficient rigor, and (3) demonstrate evidence of effectiveness in overcoming the language barriers and recouping any academic deficits incurred within a reasonable period of time.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that Texas statutes that denied public school enrollment and withheld state funds from local school districts for children “illegally admitted” to the United States was unconstitutional. The Texas statutes violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects “any person,” not just “any citizen.” Because the Plyler decision applies to every state and is still valid, the same test of constitutionality applies to any state law that conditions school attendance on citizenship.
The CA Ed.G.E. Initiative (Proposition 58) ensures that all children in California public schools receive the highest quality education, master the English language, and access high-quality, innovative, and evidence-based language programs that prepare them to fully participate in a global economy. The CA Ed.G.E. Initiative authorizes school districts and county offices of education to establish language acquisition programs for both native and non-native English speakers, and requires school districts and county offices of education to solicit parent and community input in developing language acquisition programs.
DESIGNATED AND INTEGRATED ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
English learners face the unique challenge of learning English as they are also learning grade-level content through English. The California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education recognize that both Designated and Integrated English language development (ELD) are an integral part of a comprehensive program for every English learner to meet the linguistic and academic goals at their grade level. The purpose of this letter is to provide guidance for instruction and additional resources.
As a comprehensive approach to ELD, the English Language Arts/English Language Development (ELA/ELD) Framework for California Public Schools states:
“English learners at all English proficiency levels and at all ages require both Integrated ELD and specialized attention to their particular language learning needs, or Designated ELD.” (p. 119)
Designated ELD is defined as instruction provided during a time during the regular school day for focused instruction on the state-adopted ELD standards to assist English learners to develop critical English language skills necessary for academic content learning in English. (California Code of Regulations, Title 5 [5 CCR] Section 11300[a])
Integrated ELD is defined as instruction in which the state-adopted ELD standards are used in tandem with the state-adopted academic content standards. Integrated ELD includes specifically designed academic instruction in English. (5 CCR Section 11300[c])
5 CCR Section 11309(c)(1) states:
“Any language acquisition program provided by a local educational agency (LEA) shall:
(1) Be designed using evidenced-based research and include both Designated and Integrated ELD.”
Designated and Integrated ELD instruction is a component of Tier I instruction for all English learners under the Multi-Tiered System of Supports and incorporates the principles of Universal Design for Learning.