Posts Tagged English

Proof that Govt doesn’t Know what it’s Doing

The chances are that through government lethargy and ignorance America is destined to be a Spanish speaking country…

Why The Alarm Is Going Off About Students Learning English As A Second Language

Full disclosure: My wife is a bilingual teacher and my children grew up speaking English and Spanish. But you don’t need those factors in your life to have a vested interest in how well the school program commonly known as ESOL – English for Speakers of Other Languages – is faring in this country, state and community.

Latinos are now the largest minority in the US. Florida’s population growth today is driven largely by Latinos. And Latinos make up almost two-thirds of Miami-Dade County’s residents.

A quarter million Florida youths, a tenth of the state’s public school students, are enrolled in ESOL. The program accounts for a fifth of Miami-Dade’s public school pupils – and more than 25 percent when you include the system’s ESOL adults.

There are certainly Florida schools, like Miami’s Coral Way K-8 Bilingual Center, where ESOL is exemplary. But as a new academic year gets underway – and as classrooms face the more rigorous Common Core standards – there are nagging signs that too many Florida ESOL students are slipping behind. Or as El Nuevo Herald education writer Daniel Shoer Roth recently put it, an “alarm has sounded” among educators across the peninsula.

By a number of measures, Florida’s ESOL report card is in fact worrisome. Last year only 9 percent of ESOL 10th graders passed the state’s standardized English reading test; only 7 percent of ESOL fourth graders are English proficient, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that many Orange County high schoolers refer to themselves as ESOL “lifers” because it’s taking them so long to pass the standardized tests and graduate.

As a result, a growing chorus of voices are calling on state officials to both revise and re-prioritize ESOL. Among the key flaws they point to: a lack of individual school accountability for ESOL performance, inadequate teacher training and a requirement that students take Florida’s standardized English exams after just one year of ESOL instruction – something Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, himself an ESOL alumnus, calls “not reasonable.”

“Overlooked and underserved, behind target, disorganized,” says Rosa Castro Feinberg, head of the Florida education committee for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), about the state’s ESOL system. “The people in the state Department of Education responsible for ESOL students are good, decent and hard-working,” she adds, “but they are few in number, and there is too much going on for them to be able to handle it in an efficient way.”

Officials insist they’re implementing the recent reform directives of a state task force and “pushing to ensure that these students are getting the services they deserve,” says Mary Jane Tappen, the education department’s deputy chancellor for curriculum, instruction and student services. She notes, for example, that the state is making sure ESOL teachers get every bit of Common Core preparation that teachers of native English speaker students are receiving.

Still, Castro Feinberg points out that a lot of state officials and legislators would still like to cut ESOL teacher training hours in half. And while the state says it’s bound by federal guidelines when it comes to the rule that standardized exams be taken after only a year of ESOL instruction, ESOL advocates insist that Washington’s fine print allows Florida to relax it. Either way, both sides agree that the task force at least came up with one means of alleviating that pressure on ESOL students: a weighted or curved grading system.

Source: WLRN Read more

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The People are Waking Up

Much has been said about Wikileaks, etc. The people who have something to hide have been vitriolic in their condemnation of the release of secret documents. Documents that have shown just how shady are the dealings of governments and military. Of course they don’t want their dirty laundry to be aired in public.

Politics and war are not pretty, they are dirty sordid affairs and if the people are aware of how dirty and sordid, then the politicians wouldn’t have a prayer of ever being reelected.

This is what it is really all about. Those in power want to stay in power.

Whistleblowing is about making politicians, and by virtue their military cronies, transparent as they should be.

The people of the world need Wikileaks to tell them the truth, because the politicians could lie straight in bed.

In more recent days, with the fall of Tripoli, the press is having a field day with the documents recovered from government offices. Documents that are far more damaging to the American and English than Wikileaks.

The documents recovered so far show that both American and English intelligence agencies (now there’s an oxymoron) colluded with the Libyan despot in many ways that are considered illegal and despicable.

Now the British Prime Minister is calling for an inquiry into the reported dealings, reported in the BBC News today. The agencies of both countries have been caught with their pants down and are back peddling like crazy in their embarrassment.

But the result of all this is the people are now beginning to see their governments for what they are.

Maybe with their eyes open a little further they will see that the conspiracy theorists are not so full of bullshit after all; that their governments are capable of anything, and I mean ANYTHING,  in the name of self-preservation, nothing at all to do with serving the people. Serving the people is not even on the agenda.

The sheeple have been following the leader blindly for too long; and that’s exactly what the governments want. As long as the sheeple are blind to what’s going on, the governments can do what they please.

Wikileaks, Libyan Files, etc are precisely what we need.

The politicians and military need to be brought back into line and serve the people; that’s what they were elected for.

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