College of Education - ESOL - Florida Law and Consent Decree
BACKGROUNDIn August, 1990, a lawsuit was successfully brought against the State of Florida for educational neglect of school students who are not native speakers of English. The result of the suit was a set of remedies, spelled out in the document known as the Consent Decree. The Consent Decree has become a part of Florida Law, and the most significant part of the law for our College of Education is the requirement that all language arts and reading teachers (e.g. early childhood, elementary and special education teachers) receive 300 hours of ESOL training in the areas of cross-cultural communication, applied linguistics, methods of teaching English as a Second Language, curriculum for teaching English as a Second Language, and assessing content and language for English language learners. This training is the basis of the ESOL Endorsement of a Florida Teaching Credential.
Training Development and InnovationSchool districts and colleges of education throughout the state were forced to quickly create training programs which covered the 300 required hours (the equivalent of five three-credit, semester-long courses). Many improvements have been made in these teacher training programs over the years, and innovations continue to be developed.
USF's Infused CurriculumSeveral years ago, the University of South Florida's College of Education developed the first ESOL-infusedcurriculum to be approved by the Florida Department of Education. The basic five courses spelled out in the Consent Decree were combined into three ESOL courses (currently referred to as ESOL I, ESOL II, and ESOL III) and documentation of ESOL-infused activities throughout the education curriculum. Fulfilling USF Sarasota Manatee's program requirements for the ESOL Endorsement will meet the state requirement for ESOL endorsement training.