A lot of parents in New York can't, because the Dept. of Ed is still sending report cards home only in English. Even though only one in four parents in NYC is not proficient in English, and even though Joel Klein and Bloomberg keep talking about how important parent participation is, there is no word on the status of the Education Equity Act (past blogs about the Act here and here). Bloomberg has increased funding for a central translation unit by $5 million, but although it is a positive step, more needs to be done (although on a positive note, NCLB transfer forms are being sent out this summer in Spanish and English). The City Council's inaction on this issue isn't stopping some parents from protesting, according to the New York Sun:
HISPANIC PARENTS PROTEST ENGLISH REPORT CARDS AT CITY HALL
A group of 40 Latino parents from Brooklyn and Queens held a protest yesterday in front of City Hall, calling on Mayor Bloomberg to support Intro. 464, the Education Equity Act, and demanding legislative action to defend the rights of immigrant parents before the beginning of thenext school year in September. The protesters delivered a letter to the schools chancellor, Joel Klein, with copies of their children's report cards printed only in English. More than 25% of all New York City parents cannot read or speak English.
"We have made a priority of translating report cards into other languages and expect to provide them during the next school year," a spokesperson for the Education Department, Michele McManus Higgins,said. According to Ms. Higgins, last month the city agency announced a comprehensive expansion of translation and interpretation services, including $7.5 million in additional support to provide increased translation and interpretation services for regional offices and schools across the city.