One D.C. school is turning to Spanish immersion to help its students learn English

Students east of the Anacostia River will be able to enroll in a dual-language school in their neighborhood for the first time, as Houston Elementary, a low-performing school in Ward 7, will become a Spanish-language-immersion school starting next school year.

Dual-language options are in high demand in the District, with the 13 traditional public and charter elementary schools offering such programs attracting long waiting lists each year. The addition of Houston to the roster of the city’s dual-language programs is a victory for education advocates, who have long argued that students across socio­economic levels do not have equal access to the programs’ benefits.

“We look at these programs as a way to close the achievement gap,” said Vanessa Bertelli, executive director of the D.C. Language Immersion Project, an advocacy group pushing to expand the city’s language programs.

The Washington Post - Perry Stein

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