Parents and teachers protest Ritter Elementary elimination of dual-language program
Published on United Teachers Los Angeles(http://www.utla.net)
November 24, 2008 - Teachers and parents from Ritter Elementary School will demonstrate outside the school on Tuesday November 25 at 1:30 p.m., to protest the elimination of their Dual Language Program.
For the last 4 years Ritter has participated in a Dual Language Program in which Spanish speaking and English speaking children learn together being taught all of their subjects in both languages. National studies have revealed that children who participate in dual language program substantially outscore their fellow students on state tests.
Ritter Elementary is one of the 10 schools in the mayor's partnership. One of the promises of the Partnership was a commitment to collaborating with parents and teachers in organizing the schools' curriculum and governance. Parents complain that this promise was not kept when the program was suspended without notification of parents.
Questions have arisen about the legality of the program cancellation. Under California state law, when the parents of 20 children at a single grade level request an "alternate program" the school must provide it. UTLA believes that parents may have been denied their right to request a waiver. The school is also required to annually notify the parents about their right to choose a program.
"Dual language programs are invaluable in this global economy," stated A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles. "Our concern is for the community and the parents, who want a dual language program and have been denied their legal rights. UTLA believes that our job is to stand up for the students."
Over 30 schools in LAUSD currently have dual language programs. Other communities are starting new dual language programs. UTLA is committed to standing up for the needs of children, teachers and the community.
What: Protest to reinstate dual language program at Ritter Elementary
When: Tuesday, November 25, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Ritter Elementary 11108 Watts Avenue L.A., 90059