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Lau vs. Nichols: The Asian American "Brown v. Board"

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, folks!


It's important we share some knowledge about our history, our realities, and contributions. Today, the knowledge sharing will focus on Lau vs. Nichols and bilingual education, and the film I just found out about - Speaking in Tongues.  Lau vs. Nichols is a Supreme Court case that established bilingual education in the country. Anyone who cares about civil rights and education should be as aware of this case as they are of Brown vs. Board of Education. Both cases addressed the inequalities in public education experienced by an increasingly diverse school-aged population.  In the Supreme Court decision in Lau, it was stated:

There is 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.

I've always thought that someone should make a movie about the drama that led up to Lau, and was reminded again today when a friend called out on Facebook, "Maria wonders if there are any good videos on 'bilingual ed'".  So I started googling, and found out that the San Francisco Public Library is showing a new film called Speaking in Tongues this Saturday, May 8 at 10:30 a.m. I wish I could be there for it. The trailer has me definitely intrigued. The funniest part of the trailer is the White woman who is railing against her tax money going to teach people "language," while she sits in what is obviously a Chinese restaurant. What an idiot!

If you're in San Francisco, go check out Speaking in Tongues, and write a review! Let's keep sharing knowledge!

Cheers to San Francisco Unified School District for being the only district to pass a resolution supporting bilingual skills acquisition, encouraging students to learn multiple languages starting in elementary school!

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AsianPuncher (not verified) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 06:54


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