“D.C. Public Schools is considering expanding the dual-language program at Tyler to meet citywide demand, and that possibility has some parents worried the District intends to attract more upper- income families — and drive them out.
On the other side, parents and dual-language advocates say that there are misperceptions about such programs and that the school system needs to make sure all families know that Spanish programs aren’t intended only for wealthy students and Hispanic children who don’t speak English. The parents point to D.C. Public Schools’ own testimonials that dual-language students often outperform their peers who aren’t in such programs on standardized tests and develop better problem-solving skills.
At Tyler, the school system clumps the data from each program together, making it hard to know how the tracks compare. A parent committee’s public records request turned up data — which The Washington Post reviewed — showing that students in the dual-language program perform better on standardized tests. The data do not break down the test results by race or socioeconomic status.
‘Education is key to this conversation, and we can’t expect parents to fully trust in an education experience that they didn’t have themselves unless they see what it looks like,’ said Linsey Silver, who has two children in Tyler’s dual-language program and is communications director of D.C. Language Immersion Project, a group pushing to expand the city’s language programs.”