The bell just rang. Susie and her other English speaking friends are walking to Spanish class, while Juan and his Spanish-speaking amigos are on their way to English class.
These Spanish students are a part of a dual-bilingual education program that requires pupils to learn both English and Spanish simultaneously as they matriculate through school.
It allows them to take core courses such as Math in their native language, before attempting to understand a foreign language.
That would make sense if the students were not in first grade and barely able to comprehend their own language.
On the November ballot, Colorado and Massachusetts will be trying to amend their education programs. They want to get rid of the bilingual education program and replace it with a 1-year English immersion program.
This would enable students to learn the primary language of the United States before being placed in mainstream classes.
Supporters believe that bilingual education traps foreigners in classes where they do not learn their native language well enough, do not learn English well enough and thus fall behind peers every day.
The best way to learn English is learn it quickly.
Sure learning English is necessary to live in this country, but that student might not learn English after one year.
Legislators have put a three-year cap on the English immersion curriculum, which would require students to be thrown into mainstream afterwards whether they are ready or not.
They must learn English in three years or less, but American students take English every school year all the way through college.
It is not fair to mandate them to learn the many nuisances of the English language, in three years, that many Americans still don’t know after graduating high school.
In addition, the students will not be the only ones suffering from this English immersion program. Educators too will be under close scrutiny.
If parents believe educators have damaged their children by keeping them out of mainstream classes.
The parents would then have the right to sue the school system and bar the instructor from teaching or public office.
A recent study proved that students who had 4 to 7 years of dual language schooling performed better in the long run than students in immersion programs.
This is supported by the fact that many English as a Second Language students are immigrants that came to America without money or resources.
Therefore they cannot buy English books to read outside of class, nor can they practice their English because they live in Spanish neighborhoods.
At the end of class, Susie says adios to her profesora while Juan says goodbye to his teacher.
Will Colorado and Massachusetts natives be saying goodbye to bilingual education forever?
-Dominique Drake for the Editorial Board.