Monday, October 31, 2005

School Choice: Foreign Language Requirement in KY Schools

It has come to my attention that it is going to be required that all high school students in Kentucky must “speak” a second language before they can graduate.

Too many students are graduating high school unprepared for college and the workforce. Massive amounts of resources are wasted on remedial course work on the part of students and universities. Tech schools and on the job training require rudimentary knowledge of math and science. Is it then the goal of public schools to graduate students that can speak another language, but be displaced in the work force because they haven’t developed basic math, writing, and science skills using their native language.

There is great value in learning a second language, but learning a second language does not turn an ill prepared student into a scholar. Shouldn’t we focus on those areas that are more critical, and then let those students that are most proficient in basic skills pursue learning a second language as an option.

How can we have such a drastic reform over night, when such an important issue such as school choice is tossed aside as being extreme and detrimental to our schools? Is this just an attempt for our public schools to secure more funding and jobs for more teachers?