In the United States, most politicized discussions of bilingual education policy have focused on language minority children. Frequently, their backgrounds in languages other than English are assumed to be the cause of their educational deficiencies. Title VII policies were largely predicated on this view, even though advocates of bilingual education tend to see minority languages as personal and societal resources rather than as detriments.

At best, the deficit view has tended to result in policies aimed only at accommodating children from home backgrounds in which languages other than English were spoken and lower expectations for their academic achievement were accepted. Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, there has been much fanfare regarding the need to promote higher expectations for all children.

When Senator Edward Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) staff began planning for the 1974 re-authorization of the Bilingual Education Act of 1968 (Title VII, Elementary and Secondary Education Act), CAL brought together a group of leaders in the field to define a set of priorities for needed changes and new initiatives, most of which were adopted in the final legislation. In particular, these include funding for teacher training programs, Master in Special Education and Ph.D. programs and support for research and information dissemination activities that point to the importance of learning different languages.

Concerned that the availability of federal funds would not guarantee high-quality programs of teacher education because some institutions simply relabeled existing courses or program titles to qualify for funds, and with an obvious lack of criteria for judging the adequacy of applications, CAL convened a working group of experts, including state and large city bilingual program directors, to develop a set of guidelines for the certification of teachers in bilingual education programs.

Education Today and Economy

More and more every day we are seeing that the unstable economy is affecting people in America at an alarming rate and many individuals are coming up with new ways to protect themselves against such an economy. While almost every American can see the effects, those that are creative in their ways of providing enough income for themselves or their families are the ones that are still living somewhat comfortably. See also this post on how to become a TEFL teacher.

Some people have decided to work from home as a second or main income in order to increase their household budget. And some individuals have decided to return to school in order to obtain a competitive education in hopes to succeed in a competitive job market. And the best thing about this is that it is getting easier and easier to go back to school not only because now prospective students have the option of taking classes online but also because there are multiple financial resources out there for both the young and the mature who wish to return to school.

The first place to look for help with paying for your education is the federal government. By going to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid website you will be able to apply for both federal financial aid but in many cases your individual state’s aid as well. The application is fairly simple and not that long and if approved you could be provided with a good portion of what it will cost for you to return to school. And the best part about the federal aid is that they are grants that pay for your schooling so you never have to worry about paying them back.