A Cooperative Bilingual Effort in Michigan



ABSTRACT Recent legislation in Michigan made it mandatory for school districts to satisfy the legitimate educational needs of their bilingual pupils. The Oak Park, Southfield, and Birmingham school districts in suburban Detroit, which have many Arabic and Chaldean-speaking students, formed a tri-district consortium to work out a bilingual/bicultural program in their target languages with nearby Mercy College of Detroit. Consortium administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and community leaders working in cooperation with the Education Department of Mercy College planned and wrote a Model Transitional Bilingual Program which the state accepted. The college was then authorized to recommend for endorsement those teachers who successfully completed these studies. The program is now viable and it may well serve as a model for other school districts facing similar problems. A program overview with detailed exposition of its development, implementation, and evaluation by the community, the school districts, and the college is included.