Jackson Heights People for Public Schools statement in support of more quality dual-language bilingual education public school seats for students in Jackson Heights.
1. The majority of the world's population grows up speaking more than one language (Baker 2006);
2. The majority of children in Jackson Heights grow up in families that speak languages other than English (Armstrong, et. al., 2009);
3. Students who remain in dual language bilingual programs for at least 5-7 years become fluent in TWO languages; they are able to read, write, speak, and understand two languages at an age- and grade-appropriate academic level (Lindholm-Leary, 2001);
4. Students in dual language bilingual programs not only become bilingual and bi-literate, they also benefit from understanding more than one culture, increased self-esteem, and increased cognitive ability (García, 2009);
5. Dual language bilingual programs help develop cultural pride and awareness for non-majority culture students and help speakers of languages other than English succeed where they otherwise might struggle in the school system (Ovando & Collier, 2006);
6. People who are fluent in more than one language have more career opportunities than people who speak only one language (Thomas & Collier, 2004);
7. Research shows that students of all backgrounds and all abilities who participate in dual language bilingual programs (through the higher grades) do better than students in English-only programs on standardized tests across subjects and are more likely to succeed in school (Howard, et al, 2003).
We support the expansion of quality dual language bilingual education in Jackson Heights, at all local elementary and secondary schools.