School will focus on English |

School will focus on English

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail CO, Colorado

Diehard nativists may not like this, but a public school devoted to teaching English to Spanish-speaking teenage immigrants makes a lot of sense.

The single best way to succeed in a society is to learn the language. The best way to learn the language is to focus on it.

From this relatively simple observation ” which study after study backs up, incidentally ” all the politics start. Namely, who comes from “legal” immigrant homes and the whole dust-up over jobs, citizenship and effects on society in general.

Practically speaking, though, the Eagle County School District must educate teens who suffer the most academically in not speaking English. And speaking of politics, the schools are charged with improving these students’ test scores, just like the rest, even if they cannot read the questions to answer them.

Never mind that native English-speaking students score as well as any anywhere, even the various “white-flight” programs. Our schools also are held to the production of students with one whale of a disadvantage. The good news for these students is that they perform a lot better as they learn our language.

And so a New America charter school, which specializes in non-native English speakers aged 15 to 21, aims to start up in Eagle County next fall. Like the Vail Charter Academy and Stone Creek Elementary School, this charter school will be publicly funded.

Given the much higher drop-out rate among immigrant students, this new school can only help with that, too.

Kudos to the school district for aiming to deal with the influx of non-English-speaking immigrants in a most pragmatic way. Education really is the key for all of us.

” Don Rogers for the Editorial Board

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