Aspire of New York v. Board of Education 1974

The Puerto Rican community filed a suit against the New York Board of Education because they were outraged at the fact that their students were being taught only in English.  This resulted in a negotiated settlement called the Aspira Consent Decree which mandated public schools to provide bilingual education for Puerto Rican LEP/ELL students.

The Aspira Consent Decree established transitional bilingual education (TBE) as a legal entitlement for New York City's non-English speaking students.  Although the Decree was a great break-through for public education, it did have many weaknesses.  First of all, it was based on the ideology that learning English was the most important social imperative.  In doing this, it did not address all the conditions faced by the students at the time.  Also the Board of Education insisted on a lower proportion of Latino students being included in the transitional bilingual education program so only 40% were included.  This was because the cut-off for being included in the programs was set at a very low level based on the Language Assessment Battery (LAB) test (Reyes).

Also included in the law were three things.  Bilingual teachers were to be hired in the school district; Assessments were to be given in the home language and in English; And materials needed to be purchased in the home language (Schulte).

Reyes, Luis. "The Aspira Consent Decree: A Thirtieth-Anniversary Retrospective of Bilingual Education in New York City ." Harvard Educational Review. 76.3 (2006): 369-402. Print.

Schulte, Ann.  "Module 3, Law and Education."  Powerpoint presentation, (2010)  


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