Educational Editorial: English Learners

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This week's emails brought an interesting question…and an offer. The writer walked through the first three paragraphs with the ease of a friend who had discovered that I was about to be audited by the IRS and wanted to help me.

"As you know" he wrote, "English Learners [EL's] are among the fastest growing student groups in America today. But knowing how to properly manage programs and funding for this population is harder than ever.

"Are you confused? If so, there's a good chance you are not in compliance. That is why I am excited to introduce to you a new, comprehensive, and cost effective solution. The Administrator's Guide to Federal Programs for English Learners."

WOW, and it probably comes in multiple languages. English as a second language or ESL, now English learners, assumes that when young people and their families come to this country that they must first learn the language in order to be successful in school and work.

It is also ironic that when a student comes from Bosnia with poor language skills, we give him intense training.

What about students from Brooklyn, Bakersfield, or Bottoms Bridge? Where is the Federal sub group called "the rest of us."

With census results around the corner we may face staggering realities…more people drawing social security than contributing, more people on public subsidies than paying for them, and young people without English growing at a much faster rate than those who are native.

While diversity has been a cornerstone of our country, it is critical to protect  "our" language… and until it is changed…speaking it should be the expectation for all…native born or not!

Oh, I did not buy the book…it is not always correct to be compliant.

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