OELA Director Libia S. Gil Speaks at Conference on 40th Anniversary of Lau v. Nichols Decision
Libia S. Gil, assistant deputy secretary and director of the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Department of Education, spoke on September 12, 2014, at the National Conference on the Rights of Linguistic Minorities, in San Francisco, CA. The conference commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Lau v. Nichols 1974 Supreme Court decision, which expanded the rights of students nationwide with limited English proficiency. Lau v. Nichols was a class action suit brought by parents of non-English-proficient Chinese students against the San Francisco Unified School District. In 1974, the Supreme Court ruled that identical education does not constitute equal education. The basis of the decision was Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination on the basis of national origin, ruling that language is inextricably linked to national origin. At the conference, Gil discussed the significance of the decision as well as enforcement challenges and equity opportunities to support increased academic success for English learners. The conference (covered on NBC’s website and in this article in China Daily) was sponsored jointly by Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies at University of California Berkeley; Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara University; the San Francisco Unified School District; and the Chinatown Campus of City College of San Francisco.
National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)