Schools Adopt Curriculum to Teach Students in Spanish 90% of the Time

in News, Opinion / by Dom the Conservative / on May 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm /

Schools have come under fire after introducing a major policy change in which teachers will be required to instruct students in Spanish.
Responding to criticism that American schools do not teach foreign languages early and often enough, the Tuscon Unified School District will begin an immersion program in 10 schools. Although the district already had a 50-50 bilingual education program, around 90 percent of kindergarten instruction will now be taught in Spanish.
While many praise the education choice, it seems as though the school is responding to pressure from parents that cannot speak Spanish. Since the U.S. Citizenship Test has an English language requirement, it’s understandable that the majority of those unable to speak English while living in the U.S. are not U.S. citizens, an influential minority.
The method of teaching calls for beginning in Spanish, gradually increasing English-language instruction as children age, the opposite of usual language classes. Students will eventually reach a 50-50 bilingual method of instruction for grades 4 through 12.
TUSD assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Steve Holmes claims that the new program will improve the district’s existing bilingual education program.
67 percent of Tuscon residents speak English as a primary language, while 28 percent speak Spanish.
Although learning new languages is a smart decision, it’s speculated that the school district may have caved to minorities’ demands.
Some argue that immersing children in another language before they’ve even learned the basics of their primary one will be confusing, and will also hinder parents from assisting with homework, or even knowing exactly what their children are learning in school.
Fortunately, participation in the program is optional for students at all schools except one.