The illegal immigration debate contines to be our national soap opera. Although the noise typically occurs at the border or in the halls of Congress, the classroom also prominently figures in this drama.
Writer Steve Greenhut illustrates a slice of the ed. component in an essay for Chronicles magazine.
Reports Greenhut: "The schools in Santa Ana — despite the city’s 'Education First' motto plastered on local water towers — are among the worst in the state, as teachers struggle with a population that does not speak much English. The school system has improved a bit since 2003, however, when voters from across the city recalled school-board member Nativo (his given name is Larry) Lopez, a Latino activist, who used his power to promote a 'Spanish First' agenda. Still, no middle-class person (of any ethnicity) in his right mind would send his kids to these schools."
Imagine being the California students stuck in that educational nether world without a lifeguard in sight. Not only are the kids given a raw intellectual deal, they are also introduced, courtesy of this bilingual babysitting service, to the viler aspects of pop culture, consumerism, and heavens know what else. Meanwhile, the parents or guardians, don't have the language or assimilation skills, to do much about it.
Right about now, the country could use an educational freedom-fighter in the style of a a Cesar Chavez. Politics aside, Mr. Chavez was a man who had no use for formal education, but he vigorously pursued self-education and had a gift for motivating the masses.
Aside: Back in 2003, Univision, the Spanish-language TV network, ran a story on "Educación en casa."