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INGLEWOOD : Plan Outlined to Meet Bilingual Guidelines

August 04, 1994|JON GARCIA

School officials have approved a plan to bring the district into compliance with state and federal regulations for bilingual education.

A report issued in March by the California State Department of Education found that five out of six schools surveyed in the district this spring had substantial problems complying with regulations for bilingual programs.

Among the areas cited were the availability of bilingual textbooks, the number of certified bilingual teachers and a failure to complete reports on student testing and progress, said Norman C. Gold, manager for bilingual compliance for the state.

"In some cases, (district officials) didn't know which students needed what services," leaving some students in the wrong class, Gold said.

If these violations are not corrected, the district could lose about $1 million of its bilingual education funding, Gold said.

The plan, created by an 11-member task force, overhauls the district's bilingual policy and adds new programs such as crash-course study sessions for teachers working on bilingual certification. It also creates a guide for employees who assess student ability and need, said task force member Elizabeth Flynn, an Orange County bilingual curriculum consultant who is working with the district on the plan.

The district has started to solve some of the problems, Gold said. To meet state standards, district officials are allowing nearly 200 trained bilingual teachers, who have not yet been certified by the state, to supervise bilingual classrooms, he said.

According to the most recent figures, only 40 of the district's 600 teachers are certified to teach the district's 5,500 bilingual or limited-English students, Gold said. Adding those 200 teachers has helped, but the district may still be falling short in other areas, he said.

"There are still kids who go without bilingual texts and materials," Gold said.

District officials are scheduled to meet with state inspectors this month to discuss compliance, Gold said.

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