For more than a year, a Latino boy who speaks only English sat in his classroom confused by what his Spanish-speaking classmates were saying and falling behind in his work.
His mother complained to school officials, but they insisted he belonged in the English as a Second Language program. Complicating things, the boy was considered to be developmentally delayed.
Now the family has sued the Hillsboro School District, accusing educators at Orenco Elementary School of putting Alek Villaraldo in the English as a Second Language program during kindergarten and a portion of first grade solely because he was Latino. In the family’s federal lawsuit, his parents, Indhira and Rene Villaraldo, say they were never notified or asked for consent to place their son in the program.
“Those were his first years of school, and they have gone down the drain,” Indhira Villaraldo said, adding that parent-teacher meetings, homework and other notices gave no sure sign to them that the 5-year-old spent part of school time learning alongside Spanish speakers with limited English proficiency.
National ESL experts say the federal- and state-regulated learning program contains checks and balances to keep misplacements from happening. But errors still occur, especially among children with disabilities because educators are not fully trained in distinguishing learning disabilities from limited English speaking skills.
“Bilingual eduation” is a crock and a racket. The educrats have known it for decades. Parents are getting a rude awakening, too.