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Lau vs. Nichols 1973

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the San Francisco school system violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by denying non-English speaking students of Chinese ancestry a meaningful opportunity to participate in the public school system.

Outcome - The decision stated that providing students the same desks, books, teachers and curriculum did not ensure that they had equal educational opportunity, particularly if the students did not speak English. If English is the mainstream language of instruction, then measures have to be taken to ensure that instruction is adapted to address those children's linguistic characteristics (Lau v. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563, 94 S. Ct. 786, 1974).


English Language Learner KnowledgeBase. (Norman, Ok.: Region VII Comprehensive Center; Indianapolis, Ind.: Northrop Grumman Information Technology, 2004). http://www.helpforschools.com/ELLKBase/index.shtml

Civil Rights.org. (Washington, D.C.: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, 2002). http://www.civilrights.org/library/civilrights101/desegregation.html

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