Letter To the Editor
State and feds mandate English language programs
I read with keen interest the summary of comments made by school board candidate Pat Kanda at the recent coming-out party held for him and two other candidates at the Mesa County Republican Women’s ice cream social in Lincoln Park.
Kanda stated that he is unsure about the effectiveness of having an English as a second language program in local schools, and he feels sports fees aren’t covering as many costs as they should.
We might have had a lively discussion about the English Language Learner program and athletic fees, had I been invited to attend.
Republican Women’s President Linda Gregory indicated that a “subgroup” had spent two hours interviewing the candidates, apparently prior to endorsing them by inviting them to the ice cream “social.”
I was not invited, nor was I interviewed. Had I, as a candidate, been interviewed, a seemingly logical step prior to making endorsements in a nonpartisan race, I may have at least earned an invitation.
But failing that, perhaps I can make a comment here in a more open forum.
The English Language Learner program requirement comes from Title III of the “No Child Left Behind Act.” Its purpose is to ensure that every school district provides children identified with needing assistance in English language development with instruction that will allow them to achieve the same education standards and outcomes as we expect of their English-fluent peers.
ELL is a federal and state requirement and, when you think about it, really an imperative if we are to actually reach one of the great values of public education — providing a solid base for all children so that they can succeed in careers and as citizens.
Perhaps before voters are called upon to cast a ballot in the District 51 School Board races, all the candidates will have a chance to discuss educational issues in forums that allow voters to make informed choices.
School Board Candidate