[English Language Learners]
Beeson, Rebecca J.
Washington and Lee University, Shepherd Poverty Program
Capabilities approach (Social sciences)
English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers
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Rebecca J. Beeson is a member of the Class of 2010 of Washington and Lee University.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]In the 1974 landmark case Lau v. Nichols, the Supreme Court ruled that the government has an additional responsibility to assist English-learning students above and beyond expectations for traditional students. For the justices, “There [was] no equality of treatment, merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers and curriculum; for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education.” In this statement, the writers of the majority opinion argue for the principle of vertical equity. Unlike horizontal equity where all of our nation‟s children are treated the same including receiving the same amount of funding, vertical equity requires that all students have a fair and equal opportunity to succeed even if that means additional funding. The decision essentially gave the same civil rights to English Language Learners as it does to students with physical and mental disabilities. As the number of minorities in this country continues to grow, which presumably will lead to more children in need of English language assistance, our school systems have an increased obligation to uphold the principles of Lau v. Nichols. [From Introduction]Rebecca J. Beeson