At least 45,000 teachers in 275 school districts across Massachusetts lack adequate training to instruct students who speak limited English, potentially impeding thousands of the students from advancing academically, according to a US Justice Department investigation.
That’s from the front page of today’s Globe. Later in the same article, comes this:
Across the state last year, schools taught more than 67,000 students who could not speak English fluently, an increase of more than 50 percent from a decade ago, making English-language learners one of the fastest-growing student populations in the state.
Aside from that troubling bit about non-English speakers being “one of the fastest-growing student populations in the state,” ponder the relationship of those two big numbers. Last year there were 67,000 students in Massachusetts who cannot really speak English. And the Obama Administration’s DoJ is all up in the Commonwealth’s knickers about the fact that 45,000 Massachusetts teachers lack the specialized training to deal with the special needs of those children. So assuming that there are no teachers who are adequately trained, the DoJ expects our public schools to have 1 specially-trained teacher for every 1.4 limited English students. Of course in truth some number of teachers already have adequate training, and so that proportion is likely turned on its head – more than one teacher for every single student.
Setting aside entirely the debate over whether students in this unfortunate position are better served by English immersion or programs that cater to their individual linguistic deficiencies (the Obama Administration’s clear preference), this kind of ratio makes absolutely no sense whatsoever as a basis for allocation of public resources in a difficult economy. Or a booming economy for that matter.=
So how in God’s name could anyone convince him or herself otherwise? The answer lies in the genesis of this Justice Department admonition. It came from the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division at DoJ. And can you guess the one thing that the Civil Rights Division never, ever, EVER considers when meting out its recriminations and its mandates? Cost. Once an issue is deemed a “civil right,” notions of costs and benefits go right out the window. “Cost” becomes a dirty word – a way for the troglodytes to rationalize “discrimination.”
A couple of other important tid-bits from the Globe article: (1) DoJ specifically singled out “Boston’s teachers and their union for the low training rate [in that city] because they know the state does not mandate the training.” And (2) in 2002 the voters of Massachusetts (exercising their own civil right to vote) specifically weighed in on the aforementioned larger issue here, voting to abolish bilingual education in favor of broad policies to encourage adoption and teaching of this country’s native tongue.
Despite that voter statement less than a decade ago, Globe informs us that the Patrick Administration is rushing to implement new regulations to correct the “deficiency” identified by the feds. Watch now for the following cost cascade:… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS