Better representation in Arizona’s teacher workforce and a repeal of a 2000 policy known as the “English only” education law are two barriers that need to be removed to better Latino students, said education advocates during a Tuesday webinar hosted by the Arizona Capitol Times.
Proposition 203 was passed in 2000 with the intention of improving language acquisition for non-English-speaking parents. It largely blocks non-English speaking students from receiving instruction in their native language. It also places these students in sheltered English immersion programs, which essentially segregates them, said Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.
This law has done more harm than good for bilingual Latino students, said Stephanie Parra, executive director of the nonprofit Arizona For Latino Leaders in Education, or ALL in Ed.
“English learners are graduating at 47%,” she