December 20, 1996 |
Saying it has failed to adequately educate African American youngsters, the Oakland Unified School District has declared black English a second language, making it the first district in the nation to give the controversial dialect official status in programs targeting bilingual students.
January 24, 1997 |
Members of the Oakland school district defended their Ebonics policy before a U.S. Senate panel Thursday, insisting that federal money is not going to be used to instruct students in black English. But the delegation of school officials, accompanied by an Oakland student and the linguist who coined the term Ebonics, were subjected to pointed questions from skeptical senators, who noted that they control $10 billion in federal education funding.