Successful Bilingual Schools: Six Effective Programs in California

Author: Norm Gold
Organization: San Diego Office of Education.

The purpose of this study was to identify schools with successful bilingual education programs, and to document their success. It is not a comparative study, and was not intended to support or refute competing claims about the relative effectiveness of bilingual education compared to other approaches. Instead, the goal was to illustrate that bilingual schools are capable of providing opportunities for students to achieve and sustain high levels of academic excellence even when faced with challenges such as poverty and a lack of students' English proficiency upon entering school. The report contains six case studies. Each describes the bilingual program of a successful elementary school in California. Located in San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura counties, all schools enrolled large numbers of Spanish–speaking English learners. The case studies were prepared over a two–year period. Achievement data was taken from state and local databases, and information was gathered from telephone interviews with principals and brief site visits. The studies describe each school and summarize demographic and achievement data. General analysis identified key implementation strategies and notable instructional and organizational features, including elements of leadership, the climate of accountability, teacher qualifications and professional development. Each school profile was compared to a summary of key organizational and instructional features identified by the research as contributing to school success.


Gold, N. (2006) Successful Bilingual Schools: Six Effective Programs in California. San Diego, CA: San Diego County Office of Education.