Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Journal Of Education Policy (2018)


Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


The Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act requires grade-level attainment in literacy in English for students in grades K-3. Its practical outcome, however, has been to pressure schools with bilingual programs to shift their instructional language allocations towards more English in the early grades. Proposed rule revisions debated by the state Board of Education sought to facilitate testing in students’ language of instruction for those in bilingual programs. Analysis of written and verbal opposition to the proposed rule revisions demonstrates the persistence of insidious ethnoculturalist discourses opposing bilingual education as well as the cooptation of liberal multiculturalist discourses that, while framing bilingualism as an asset, argue that it is underdeveloped in bilingual programs that do not include English instruction from the outset. Given that bilingual instruction has demonstrated time and again that it benefits students acquiring English in schools, such new discursive turns pose a threat that must be recognized to fend off further legislative and regulatory attempts against bilingual education