Tucson Citizen
Saturday, August 7, 2004

Bilingualism vs. English immersion study draws fire

The Associated Press

PHOENIX - A national group is disputing a study that claims Arizona's Structured English Immersion students learn faster than those in bilingual classes.
A study released Thursday by the Arizona Department of Education showed that Stanford 9 scores of students in immersion classes were higher than bilingual education students in every grade level between second and eighth in reading, language and math.

National Association for Bilingual Education officials called the study "irresponsible," saying it does nothing to prove either instructional model is better and is not scientific.

The state insists the study, conducted during the 2002-03 school year, is valid.

James Crawford, executive director of the national bilingual group, challenged Arizona to fund a study that accounts for such things as level of poverty and students' initial knowledge of English.