After more than 11 years in Los Angeles public schools, Dasha Cifuentes still isn’t speaking or writing English at grade level. The U.S. native, whose parents are Mexican immigrants, was raised in a Spanish-speaking household and she acknowledges that the two languages get confused in her mind.
“I should be more confident in English because I was born here, but I’m embarrassed that I haven’t improved myself,” said Dasha, a junior at Fairfax High.
Now, however, she and other students like her are receiving more attention under a new state law and initiatives by L.A. Unified and other school districts. The law requires the state to define and identify a “long-term English learner,” the first effort in the nation to do so. Click here to read more.