For Immediate Release
May 18, 2006
First Summit for Bilingual Parents
to be held Saturday, May 20
The Illinois State Board of Education is sponsoring the
state’s first Summit conference for members of Bilingual
Parent Advisory Councils and for other parents of students
in bilingual programs. The conference is set for Saturday,
May 20, 2006 at the Oak Brook Marriott.
Topics at the conference include educational services
in bilingual and English as a Second Language; how parents
can support their children outside of school; how to communicate
and work with school boards.
State Superintendent of Education Randy Dunn will provide
the welcome at the conference. Illinois State Board of
Education Chairman Jesse Ruiz is also scheduled to participate.
Speakers include Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore and State Senator
Miguel Del Valle.
“The event is a win-win for both parents and districts.
It provides parents the kind of basic knowledge foundation
– governance of school districts, programs and services,
best practices for programs. – that they can build
on and therefore, serve as better resources for their
districts. For districts, it is a benefit to have knowledgeable
parents who can make informed decisions and recommendations,”
Districts that receive state money for Transitional Bilingual
Education (TBE) programs are required to have a Parent
Advisory Council (PAC) that meets four times a year. The
summit covers many topics that should suggest the kinds
of topics PACs and districts can focus on during the school
The event is expected to begin a networking process for
a population that may not have developed connections with
other parents in similar situations.
More than 70 public school districts from across the
state will be represented, along with more than 400 participants
registered (parents and administrators).
Most bilingual students have Spanish-speaking backgrounds;
only a handful indicated Arabic, Polish or “other”
(no indication on what “other” language is
spoken.) Statewide, 80% of Limited English Proficiency
students are of Spanish background.
In FY05, 156,350 LEP students were reported as receiving
services in local districts.
About Dr. Lily Wong Filmore
Wong Fillmore, a strong proponent of bilingual education,
was a professor in the Department of Language and Literacy,
Society, and Culture in the Graduate School of Education
at the University of California, Berkeley, until her retirement
Throughout her 30-year career, Wong Fillmore studied
the education of minority students and the socialization
of children for learning across cultures. She has authored
numerous articles on the subject, and in the 1960s and
1970s, Wong Fillmore was instrumental in designing early-education
bilingual programs for Santa Clara County.
Even after her retirement from teaching, Wong Fillmore's
activism and scholarship continue. She is currently engaged
in researching and revitalizing native languages in the
United States among Indian tribes.
About State Senator Miguel de Valle
Miguel del Valle, D-Chicago, has served as a full-time
state senator since 1987. The 2nd senate district is an
ethnically diverse area that includes West Town, Humboldt
Park, Logan Square, Hermosa and Belmont/Cragin. It also
includes portions of Portage Park, Dunning, Montclare,
Senator del Valle was born in Puerto Rico and grew up
in the West Town and Humboldt Park areas. He is married
and has four children. He graduated from Tuley High School
(now Roberto Clemente) in 1969 and went on to Northeastern
Illinois University where he received a B.A. and M.A.
in education and guidance.
Senator del Valle is the first Latino to serve as Assistant
Majority Leader in the Senate.
More information about the conference can be found at