2002-02-09 / Editorial/Opinion

Learning English Is The Key

Learning English Is The Key

"The thing we have to focus on is understanding that children need to learn to read and speak good English," Mayor Mike Bloomberg said recently. "You will get the biggest applause for that among communities where children don't speak English. People want their children to learn to speak English. Unfortunately, there is a bureaucracy that does not want that to happen" Bloomberg, of course, is speaking of the Board of Education and its destructive Bilingual program. More than 160,000 students languish in the Bilingual program, which mandates that students get the majority of their academic instruction in their "home language." The majority of those students will never become sufficiently proficient in English to get along in the "real" world – the world where people have to hold a job and communicate with others as part of everyday life. One of Bloomberg's first moves as mayor should be to lobby the legislature to do away with the mandate that keeps the racist, destructive Bilingual program alive. Statistics have shown again and again that the program does not work, that it is retained only to provide jobs for often-unqualified minority teachers and administrators. If Bloomberg really wants to make a difference in this city, then this is one way to do it.


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