Most 3rd graders in New Britain, CT can’t read by the end of the school year. For many of them this means they’ll remain behind for the rest of their lives. Kelt Cooper, the district’s new superintendent, says he can fix that. He’s eliminated bilingual education classes in the majority Latino community, replacing them with an ‘English Immersion’ program that devotes much of the school day to learning English grammar. The move is controversial and, while initial results seem promising, opponents say students are being shortchanged.
John Tulenko reports from New Britain.
This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Tietz Family Foundation.
Preschool also has a proven track record in helping children succeed in school. John Tulenko spoke with Merrill Gay, executive director of New Britain Early Childhood Collaborative, about early education efforts in New Britain.
Our award-winning 1998 Merrow Report documentary explores how the Spanish/English language barrier contributes to a high dropout rate among Latino youth, and profiles promising dual-language and bilingual programs.
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