When Antonio Acevedo’s two children were ready for school, he was determined they not only learn English but also retain their native Spanish. He applied and won a spot at Inter-American Elementary, a 40-year-old public dual language school that draws students from around the city.
Then, when he had a chance seven years ago to become principal of one of the city’s other dual language schools — a neighborhood elementary school nestled in Pilsen, one of Chicago’s oldest and proudest Mexican neighborhoods — he jumped at the chance.
“All the research is clear that ‘English Language Learners’ who participate in dual language programs outperform their peers who were in other programs in the long run,” he said
At the time, there were only about a dozen public dual language schools in Chicago, including Inter-American and Acevedo’s Whittier. Most parents who wanted their children to read, write and speak in Spanish