From our journals: Fighting privatization of public schools, English-only education


Meghan Krein

Essay review of “Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America’s Public Schools”

By: David C. Berliner and Gene V Glass, Regents Professors Emeritus, Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College 

Published in: Education Review, Jan. 22, 2020

Berliner and Glass offer a biography of the author, Diane Ravitch, delving into her personal life, career and political views and involvement. They say this is “to challenge the reader to find a political bias behind the narrative of ‘Slaying Goliath.’ We find none.” Berliner and Glass note that various other reviews of the book have been published and, “It is unnecessary to duplicate what has already been written except to note that we agree with the praise the book has received.” They provide a flavor of the book with brief examples from each chapter. Readers who are concerned with the attacks on public education by “Goliaths” will enjoy this book, according to Berliner and Glass. “With her slingshot and stone, she joins a noble battle to preserve this uniquely American invention, which Horace Mann called the greatest invention of mankind,” they say. 

Dual Language Programs: Questions of Access in the State of Arizona

By: Laura M. Gomez and Jesus Cisneros, former MLFTC doctoral students

Published in: Education Policy Analysis Archives, Jan. 27, 2020

Public schools across the country are increasingly working with children who enter schools speaking a language other than English. Using a case study methodology, the authors examined dual language program implementation in Arizona, which by law supports English-only education (as of the journal’s publication date). Several benefits (bilingualism, biliteracy, biculturalism, globalization) and challenges (curriculum, teachers, state policy, funding, and lack of access to DLPs for minority language students) are highlighted from stakeholder perspectives. Participants in this study described the paradox of excluding English language learners from dual language programs as inefficient, unnecessary and wrong. Taking Interest Convergence as a theoretical framework to understand the Arizona context regarding English-only education, the authors raise implications for research and practice.

State English Learner Education Policy: A Conceptual Framework to Guide Comprehensive Policy Action

By: Ilana M. Umansky and Lorna Porter, University of Oregon

Published in: Education Policy Analysis Archives, Jan. 27, 2020

Given the role of the state as the primary governing level tasked with U.S. public education, combined with the rapid rise in the proportion of students who are identified as English learners, this study puts forth a framework for state EL education policy. Umansky and Porter organize it around three core principles: understanding students, providing high-quality instruction and supporting effective systems. Drawing on recent decades of policy research, their framework identifies nine key areas for comprehensive state policy action: 1) Addressing diversity in EL skills and needs, 2) EL assessment, 3) Classification and reclassification, 4) Core content access, 5) English language development instruction, 6) Bilingual education, 7) EL funding, 8) Teacher preparation and skills, and 9) pre-K through postsecondary alignment. Along with synthesizing policy research in each of these areas, they present relevant policy implications. They also outline how the framework can be used and adapted by policymakers and scholars. 

About our journals

MLFTC sponsors three innovative, open-access journals on education scholarship. EPAA is a peer-reviewed, international, multilingual and multidisciplinary journal designed for researchers, practitioners, policymakers and development analysts concerned with education policies. Education Review publishes reviews of books on education topics and Acquired Wisdom essays by esteemed educational researchers, and CIE is a peer-reviewed journal led by MLFTC graduate students. 

Contact Stephanie McBride-Schreiner to learn more about our journals.