|"Schools are dealing with too many problems which originate in the language differences and that takes teaching time away from our American children whose parents do pay taxes," the letter said.
I can see her point. I really can. I dont want to sound racist but, when half of your kids in your class do not speak english, and you have an aide translating everything you say to the kids that dont speak english, it gets very time consuming. Then if they ask questions the question has to be translated for you and then the answer has to be translated to them. The english speaking kids only get about half the lesson being taught and the other half waiting for things to be translated to the other kids. I know that it is not the kids fault for not speaking english, and they shouldnt be punished. In some areas up here the hispanic kids out number the american kids, and many of them are illegal (sounds mean but it is true. Tyson admits to employing thousands of illegal citizens.)
Most of the hispanic kids are on free or reduced lunch and breakfasts. So for someone to say no, let them in, we will teach them all, does not realize how much of a strain it really does put on the school systems. You cannot have more than 24 kids in one class. People that live in the town pay taxes that support the school. If someone does not pay taxes then they do not help support the school. The state pays the teachers, and taxes build new classrooms. If you have 100 kids whose parents do not pay taxes in every grade (not uncommon here at all, sometimes it is more than that) you have to have 5 extra classrooms for these children, as well as 5 new teachers. This money is taken from other areas that need it (like music and art programs). This is money that could be used to buy books or computers or other things the school needs.
Another thing is the no child left behind thing and standardized testing. If a school tests below the government standards they are put on a warning and have 4 years to bring up their scores. The tests they used are standardized tests which are very VERY biased to white middle class students. Many tests are at least 10 years old. So you have students who are esl (english as a second language) trying to take a test in a language they may or may not be fluent in. Tests scores drop (not because the kids are stupid, I couldnt take a standardized test in spanish and do any better) and the school tries to find ways to bring up their scores. This means concentrating on the students who did poorly on the test before, leaving the students who did really well, or even just average to sit there and wait for others to catch up, generally the esl students. If this test was fair, which is much harder than it sounds, taking in account both language and cultural differences (how can a kid who has never seen snow know what you wear when it snows? ) then maybe schools wouldnt be so worried about teaching the test, and on the same hand would not see the esl kids as such a problem. Schools are graded and held accountable for their test scores, much of which is beyond their control.
I guess to sum it all up, I see and understand where she is coming from, but she could have worded it better and explained her reasoning for feeling so. If it is just because they are not american kids, then yes she is wrong. If it is because of things she is seeing, and facts like those above, then she does have a point and should try to do something to help the situation not just call the problem out and expect someone else to decide to fix it. I used hispanics because that is what we deal the most with over here. I have no problem with the kids, I just get frusterated with the situation.