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When she spoke, she harbored a familiar, thick accent, one that I had just a few years ago. She asked me where the “C” building was and she paused after every other word, trying hard to mask her accent. I started speaking in Tagalog and I saw her visibly sigh in relief.

As we walked to her class, she told me she was struggling to navigate through our school and she was placed in the English Learner program. She told me about her frustrations because she felt like she couldn’t express clearly what she wanted to say. She wasn’t accustomed to the learning style used in her new classroom as it was so different from the learning style used in the Philippines. This is why data disaggregation is so crucial. We can’t manage to create an equitable public education for all students if we’re scared to admit that something can be improved — that we can reimagine our models to be more inclusive of all the students in our classrooms. …

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Advancing Justice-LA

Advancing Justice-LA is the nation's largest legal aid and civil rights organization serving the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community

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