Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. M. Reyes-Mazon


This research project is a critical study of the development and current status of bilingual education in Michigan. A qualitative-quantitative methodology was used to study the consequences of elimination of the Michigan mandate for bilingual education in favor of a voluntary funding program. One hundred and four local school district administrators of bilingual programs were surveyed on curriculum and instruction policies, hiring practices, and parent involvement. A review of the research literature revealed a continuous controversy regarding bilingual education. This controversy focused on the low achievement of Limited English proficient students, second language acquisition and the effectiveness of local and federally funded Title VII programs. A related body of research indicates that parent involvement in programs of bilingual education is as effective as it is elusive. There is, however, little study of the role of state policies in guiding local district programs. Results of the survey data indicated that the deregulation of bilingual programs has so far had little effect on local program policies. For the most part plans are to continue current bilingual programs. This decision was driven by the needs of students who are learning English and the real or potential impact of the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Michigan state training regarding the new bilingual law was found to be inadequate while requirements were described as less stringent than federal guidelines. Parent involvement in planning and at the classroom level was very low, and expected to decrease. Parent advisory councils, although no longer required, continued in most districts. However, parent involvement is expected to move to the school building level. Plans to hire bilingual teachers and decisions about bilingual or English as a second language curriculum and instructional depended, according to respondents, on student need rather than state policy changes. There continues to be a demand for specialized bilingual teachers, especially in larger urban school districts.