I don't know how true the substitute teacher's claims were in that letter, but I urge you all to go volunteer in one of the public high schools in West Philadelphia and see for yourselves the results of some very deep problems in our society that have indeed left many children in a position of thinking they live in a racist society that is always against them, and leaving them unwilling or unable to learn the way we are trying to teach them. Of course, their attitudes don't indicate that we should kick them all out of the schools and the country, but rather that we have to find ways to better integrate our society and end racist or anti-poor policies and practices. Racial profiling, locking up large numbers of these children's fathers, and adopting English Only (or Standard English Only) policies all make things worse.
What, he wasn't patriotic enough to fail French? Even for satirical purposes, I think the issues presented by a) how immigrant non-native-Anglophone students should be educated in U.S. public schools; and b) whether native-born Anglophone students should be required to take a foreign language, and if so which one (or selected from which list) don't have all that much to do with each other. (Indeed, that the Onion kid's Spanish teacher had a very Anglo-sounding name rather than herself sounding like a potentially threatening unassimilated immigrant was presumably part of the joke.)
If you're going to adopt false patriotism, I'd be anti-chineese. There's a lot of them in the world, they're stereotypically hardworking rather than stereotypically lazy, and there is a large number of Americans who study their culture as a hobby.
This reminds me of when Japan was going to take over the U.S., back when I was in high school.
"Based on the District's current investigation, which includes interviews with students and the teacher for whom Mr. Hill was a substitute, the District believes that the statements made by Mr. Hill in regard to our students and school were not accurate. Students who were interviewed did not recall making or hearing any of the inflammatory statements attributed to them by Mr. Hill, and students also said they stood for the daily recital of the Pledge of Allegiance."
after such a thorough investigation i have no trouble believing some guy fabricated a story about 30 schoolchildren to write to his state legislators.
were there not massive protests/walkouts in 05/06 where literally millions of illegals openly expressed exactly those sentiments? demography is no conspiracy theory. but of course there was no way the school board could do anything but throw this hapless guy under the bus.
The only evidence I consider reliable, out of all the pieces of evidence the school district gave, is that the district said that the lesson was for the children to write a letter to the senator expressing approval or disapproval of the his stance.
By contrast, in Mr. Hill's letter said that assignment was to praise the senator for his stance. Either Mr. Hill is lying, or he misunderstood the assignment as it was conveyed to him.
The district said: "…students were asked to write a letter in which they took a position either for or against statements made by Sen. Gallardo."
This is a fairly typical assignment for middle school kids, because it's essentially a pretext to write a persuasive essay on a specific topic. By contrast, writing a letter "…thanking [the state senator] for his position on Illegal Immigration rights," seems a little far fetched to me.
Also, it's fairly easy to find out what a particular day's lesson plan was and to review the letters to see if they express gratitude or are of an persuasive nature.
[(myl) Perhaps you have an antique browser that doesn't support iframe video embedding? Anyhow, the link to The Onion's site should still work.]
Sorry, there's an ambiguity in my previous post which is easier to resolve in the way I didn't intend it. This video in particular doesn't work – it gives a message "Stream not found" – although now that I look more closely the stream it's not finding is the advert before the video. Maybe the content distribution network's Spanish server is down. Anyway, the question stands: is there anything worthwhile to be gained by watching the video rather than reading the summary
Jean Anne Whorton goes Beyond The Facts, talking to the high school sophomore who has become a conservative hero for refusing to learn his Spanish vocabulary.
@ JW Brewer–actually, the education of English learner kids has a LOT to do with the foreign-language education of native/fluent English speaking kids, particularly in regions (like Arizona, where the substitute teacher was located) where the population of English learner kids is linguistically homogenous. In many parts of the country with homogenous English learner populations (e.g. CA, TX), many schools institute bilingual education programs, and where they have BOTH English learner and fluent English speaking kids they might have two-way bilingual programs, where the aim is biliteracy in both English and Spanish for all the enrolled kids.
It's not a co-incidence that this kind of program is currently illegal in Arizona, which mandates that all English learner students be placed in a "Structured English Immersion" program. The definition of the SEI program is 4 hours daily of "English Language Development" classes which should focus on phonology, morphology, syntax and the lexicon. (http://www.ade.az.gov/ELLTaskForce/2008/SEIModels05-14-08.pdf)
Needless to say, four hours a day of drill on component parts of the language doesn't really result in students who speak English well, nor does it allow for students to properly learn grade-level math, science, or history. Those more cynical than I have suggested that this is in fact a feature, not a bug.
Someone at FOX News decided to get back at The Onion and The Language Log and posted this caricature of a bleeding heart's gushing "poor dears, it's our fault" platitudes… right?
[quote="Julia Deak"]I don't know how true the substitute teacher's claims were in that letter, but I urge you all to go volunteer in one of the public high schools in West Philadelphia and see for yourselves the results of some very deep problems in our society that have indeed left many children in a position of thinking they live in a racist society that is always against them, and leaving them unwilling or unable to learn the way we are trying to teach them. Of course, their attitudes don't indicate that we should kick them all out of the schools and the country, but rather that we have to find ways to better integrate our society and end racist or anti-poor policies and practices. Racial profiling, locking up large numbers of these children's fathers, and adopting English Only (or Standard English Only) policies all make things worse.[/quote]