CLE strives to make the right of all students to a quality education a reality.

The Continuing Underrepresentation of Students with Disabilities in Boston’s Dual-Language Programs

The Boston Globe recently published an education-related piece entitled “Students with disabilities are often left out of Boston’s popular dual language programs.” We share this piece given its relevance to CLE’s on-going commitment to ensuring that no student is denied access to ESL services and/or educational opportunity on account of their disability or native language.

We have included a relevant passage from the article here: “BPS plays a large role in determining placement for English learners, who make up nearly a third of the district, as well as students with disabilities. Families in Boston select their preferred schools, but if students need English language or special education services, their registrations are routed through the Newcomers Assessment & Counseling Center or the special education department. Language testers make school recommendations based on students’ English proficiency, and special education department staff identify specific schools for kids with IEPs.

BPS spokesperson Max Baker said in a statement that BPS is “devoted to becoming a fully inclusive district, providing full access to a continuum of services to all students,” but declined to answer questions about the reasons students with disabilities might be underrepresented in the dual language programs, or state what specific steps the district intends to take to remedy the lack of representation.

Bilingual special education experts say the underrepresentation of students with disabilities is more than a missed opportunity — it’s discrimination. They say there’s no reason schools can’t serve students with disabilities. And equal opportunity law suggests they have to.” 

The full Boston Globe Article may be found here: