Calif. schools use Mexican curriculum for math and science classes

iStock_000018120666XSmallFour Southern California high schools are helping more Latino students succeed in math and science by offering rigorous bilingual math and science online curriculum from Mexico.

Project SOL (Secondary Online Learning) is a collaborative effort between Gandara, the University of California system, and the Mexican Colegio de Bachilleres, which developed the digital math and science curriculum.

Rigorous math and science courses are seldom available to students learning English, even though such courses are required by colleges for admission. Bilingual classrooms are rare in the classroom, according to the LA Times. A voter-approved measure on bilingual education, Proposition 227, requires classes to be taught exclusively in English. But several provisions within the law, allow instruction in a student’s primary language.

“Mexico and the United States must collaborate in educating these kids, and we want to step up, we want to do our share,” Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, the Mexican consul general in Sacramento, told the LA Times.

So far, about 62% of students have passed their Project SOL classes A small study that compared an Algebra II class of limited-English-speaking students with the SOL class found that the students in the bilingual class had a 10-15% higher pass rate. When compared with the regular Algebra II classes, however, students had about a 10% lower pass rate.

“Guiding Latinos toward college,” L.A. Times, Saturday February 4, 2012

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