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I am reminded of the last time a similiar bill was referred to the Oregon State Legislature a couple sessions back. Experts dutily testified and left their documents about how to best educate English Language Learners. The stack that each committee member received was over THREE FEET TALL and as a former legislative assistant, I knew that those documents would not be read. Besides, that's probably more information than I went through when I got my Masters degree in ESL.
The bill never made it out of committee that time. Legislators instead rely on Mr Racketeer Bill Sizemore to do their dirty work. Most of those decisions on how to vote on those bills are made in the men's bathroom or in the caucus meeting. "How are we voting on this one, Bernie?" I'll skip that handshake for now, thanks. So now, we will ride the wave of hate, and again decisions are made regarding how to best educate children by thirty second sound bites instead of from educators.
And no better time than now, when we are blaming immigrants for our nation's woes. Immigrants are not to blame for lack of jobs, most of the good paying blue collar jobs, have been moved overseas. How many Anglo people do you see in the fields? Fruit rots on the trees from lack of workers.
Why are we so ignorant? I like to use the example of the cab driver I had one time in Morocco. He spoke two dialects of Arabic, French, Spanish, and English. Yet we remain monolingual and even expect people to accomodate us when we travel to their country.
Currently, Oregon is requiring students to graduate from ESL programs in five years, despite research that says it takes at least seven years. Now we will give two years in an immersion program, better known as sink or swim. Throw me a life preserver. Our kids deserve a break. Not just white kids... all kids.