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Castaneda v. Pickard

648 F.2d 989 (1981)

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Castaneda v. Pickard

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

648 F.2d 989 (1981)

Facts

The Raymondville, Texas, Independent School District (school district) (defendant) provided a bilingual-education program for limited-English-speaking students. The goal of the bilingual-education program developed by expert consultants was to teach students basic Spanish and English skills by the end of third grade. The school district also offered Spanish-speaking teacher aides for students in grades four and five, while a learning center with special remedial programs was available for students in grades four through 12. Several Mexican-American students (plaintiffs) filed a class action against the school district in district court and argued that the bilingual-education and language-remediation programs were deficient and unlawfully discriminated against limited-English-speaking students in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA). The students claimed that the school district failed to take appropriate action needed to implement the programs in order for the students to overcome the linguistic barriers keeping them from equal participation in instructional programs. The students’ and parents’ reasoning was that the educational theory was unsound, there was evidence the program was not reasonably calculated to implement the educational theory due to the lack of qualifications and actual language competency of the program teachers, and the program was not successful based on test results. The district court determined that the school district’s policies and practices for the bilingual-education and language-remediation programs did not violate the students’ constitutional or statutory rights. The students appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Randall, J.)

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