Posted by psmacintosh,
a resident of Danville
on Jun 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm
The ethnic-tisity of the neighborhood should really be irrelevant!
American public schools should be focused on teaching American history, values, language, culture (although that certainly is a mixture of cultures), and life skills foremost and first most-- benefit and foster American values preeminently.
We should desire students to be educated into how to:
Vote in America (understanding American politics, history, structure, and system),
Balance their checkbooks and operate their financial lives,
Obtain and payoff an American-style mortgage loan,
Survive and live well in an American city,
Successfully gain and maintain work in America in American jobs,
Operate a business,
Operate a household,
Become beneficial to their local society/neighborhood, and
Believe in and foster American values and the English language (as the common world language).
Certainly students need to learn about the World at large and as a whole, including a healthy dose and overview of World history, values, language, culture, etc..
But no single foreign country's "education" (which amounts to propoganda for their country at the exclusion of others) should take precedence over the two basic, higher priorities--to become proficient at living in America and to learn about the whole world generally. And no racial ethnic-tisity should be promoted by public education--that's a private, family matter and responsibility!
I know there would be many people who would argue against my opinion here--arguing that IF a neighborhood is highly black or hispanic or other origin background, that the schools therein should especially teach information and classes that focus in on those particular backgrounds of culture, history and language. I'm arguing that that is NOT public education's responsibility. That is not in the general interests of the general public all across America. That does not directly make students into better American citizens.
I'm arguing that we should focus on America, our commonality as Americans, and upon the English language (helping develop it into a universal world language). That it's our public schools job to assimilate us together as Americans, rather than spend public dollars to dis-assimulate us as Americans and foster assimilating us into other cultures, values, and languages.
I'm not saying it's ever wrong to give some space (public time and money) to one narrow, foreign culture. But accomplish the higher-priority "basics" of education first. And, in California, we can't even balance the governmental budget. Let alone take on another project and expanded scope of education.
Where does it stop? How do you define the limits of what we should pay for public education to do?
Please understand that the District is planning for much more than a simple "Korean language class" here.
It is an 'immersion" program, whereby a Korean teacher is brought in to teach all subjects (history, math, etc) in both Korean and English for many years and then perhaps stretching upward into many grade levels or following that group of students through their advancing grades. (that part of the plan is unclear to me?)
Developing a whole side curriculum with years of financial and time follow-through and commitment seems EXTREMELY INAPPROPRIATE for our current financially-strapped and poorly-achieving educational systems. It seems a clear case of over-committing and over-expanding in educational scope--spending public time, money, effort, energy, thought, and planning on lower priority objectives.
The District is planning to hire a foreign teacher. Regardless of WHO pays for him/her, it's an American job position that gets taken up. Then it takes administrative time and effort to manage and operate the position. It entails allowing a visa, etc.. It takes up classroom facilities and infrastructure--paid by past Americans--to be dedicated to this "immersion" program's purposes.