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How old is the average kindergartner? Just starting school at about 7 years or so? Do we teach them how to speak? No, they learn that from their parents. So if we don't teach english to small children, why the heck are we teaching it in middle and high schools?? How much money and classrooms would be opened up if we dropped ESL completely? Before you call me racist, because some people think this idea is, people who don't speak english is not a race. Its not our responsibility to teach english. Its our responsibility to ensure children can get the best education they can to get where they want in life. If people want to immigrate to the US, its their responsibility to learn english on their own dime and time.
 

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There would be just as many idiots born in north america that cannot speak english properly. They don't have to be immigrants.

And you think parents will teach their kids english? HAHAHAHA
Not properly anyways. Just look at all the parents that are too lazy to properly raise their kids.
 

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Um, we do teach English in schools to everyone... all the way through high school. Sure, it may not be basic "how to speak" BASIC English, but it is how to speak, read and write English.
 

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I think pre-schools and nurseries should be teaching kids to speak english (the basic language skills, not literature and stuff), not throughout K-12. I think it's right that if you immigrate here older than that, you should take your own time to learn the language. That's what my cousin from the Philippines did (although they are already taught some english over there).
 

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The average adult has a hard enough time putting a decent thought to paper, so it is pretty obvious we still need to be teaching English in schools through all levels. Now if your argument is strictly removing ESOL classes, I doubt you would save much money at all. If you are going to argue that course, why not remove ALL foreign language courses as well...that would save a lot more money.

If you don't care about people who live here speaking the language, the hell with speaking a language of somewhere you don't live.
-matt

PS I hope you can tell I am kindding with that last one.
 

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[quote author=azazel1024 link=topic=71048.msg1249891#msg1249891 date=1173123342]
The average adult has a hard enough time putting a decent thought to paper, so it is pretty obvious we still need to be teaching English in schools through all levels.

[/quote]

Echoed.

Writing is an ESSENTIAL business skill and, to be frank, if you can't write, you're not going much of anywhere. Its not about communicating at the basest level, but being able to project yourself intelligently on paper, email, or any other type of written communication. In fact, most colleges require an essay to apply. I can guarantee a poorly written essay will not get you in to most schools, just as a poorly written cover letter or resume won't land you most jobs.
 

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[quote author=MZ6ZoomZoom link=topic=71048.msg1247739#msg1247739 date=1173027823]
Um, we do teach English in schools to everyone... all the way through high school. Sure, it may not be basic "how to speak" BASIC English, but it is how to speak, read and write English.
[/quote]


We need to properly speak, read, write, and communicate in correct english form.

Or else we would dun and have ppl up in teh skoo dat dun no how ta talk the american language.
or they dun have the students be writing crazy papers that dun make sense, or we could teach them all proper american so they can get more gooder at there own language.


ask a kid to write a paper in 7th grade. then dont teach him how to correctly write etc English.
Then give him a college degree and promote him to be the public speaker for your company.
(Wouldnt be fun to watch him talk for your company on CNN)
 

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[quote author=1bad3 link=topic=71048.msg1247461#msg1247461 date=1173001559]
How much money and classrooms would be opened up if we dropped ESL completely?
[/quote]

probably not much at all.

I'll assume that we're talking about ESL for kids in public schools, and then cover adult language classes at the end.

A child does not make the decision to come the the US. Their parents do. And once they are here, they do not choose to go to school. The state makes that decision for them. If they do not speak English well enough to participate in class, what are you going to do? Just have them sit there and learn nothing? Getting rid of ESL classes for these people creates yet another uneducated underclass that we will have to pay to support later in life, or that will turn to crime or drugs, or fall into some other random hole that society bears the cost of. I don't know what that cost is, exactly, but I promise you that it is far greater than the cost of ESL classes both in $, time, and trouble.

As for adults who come to this country without speaking English...speaking the language is a necessary part of succeeding in our society (society at large, not the small ethnic microcosms in various cities). Often, people come to the US specifically because they are poor and uneducated and want to make a better life for themselves and their families. I imagine that if becoming a fluent English speaker were within their means, they would accomplish that task before they came here. While offering FREE english classes on the state's dime is certainly debatable, it is in all of our interests to see these people become contributing members of the community. Just like the children in the above paragraph, an adult who cannot speak English will achieve nothing compared to what they could do if they did speak the language. In the end, we pay for that, whether it's in social services, crime, or even just in lost tax revenue. Providing, at the very least, inexpensive languag instruction seems to be a worthy tradeoff.

The above was assuming that we were talking about legal immigrants. If we're discussing illegals, then I would say that rather than instructing them in English we should be sending them home.

As for your comment that you are not a racist: if you are indeed talking about all immigrants then there's no reason for anyone to label you as such. If you're talking about illegal immigrants, then one can only assume that you're focusing on spanish-speaking illegals seeing as how they are, by far, the largest and most visible illegal immigrant group. At that point, I would say that an argument could be made that you're at least acting like a racist, if only because of your attempt to hide it. But like I said, that's only if you're talking about illegals.

And yes, the ability of your average American citizen to read and write is embarassing. I recall sitting in a 400-level history class in college, reading a classmate's paper and wondering how in the hell he graduated from high school, let alone managed to stay in college for four years. Anecdotally, I can offer quite a bit of evidence that either our school system is failing our students or your average Americans are simply idiots who can neither read nor write and an appropriate level.
 

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Well dang Murph, you beat me to it. I was going to say just about the exact same thing.

To add on to what he said,

The average American does not accel at writing (or speaking if push comes to shove). I would not be shocked to find that the average adult cannot write at a level beyond what is considered 'average' for an 8th grader. This of course also makes me wonder where they are coming up with the standards, though I certainly do not think they are inflated.

Heck, in my work in the professional world I have seen some writing that I would consider appaling, yet these are people (for the most part) who have college degrees (some of them even master's).

Teaching grammer, vocabulary and effective writting I think are under represented in school today. Now don't get me wrong, I have never personally been a fan of English classes in school, but I do recognize their need. In my opinion there are two types of courses in school, those that teach you how to learn (history, science, social studies) and those that teach you skills (English, home ec, shop, math, etc). I think that both types are very important, but when it comes down to it it is generally more important to be able to communicate then it is to know what gravity is or who the president is, though I shudder to say it. At the very least you can effectively communicate your ignorance! :)

There really isn't much I can add to Murph comments on ESL and adult ESL classes. However, I would add that providing free adult literacy and educations courses (at least basic educational courses such as basic history, basic math, home ec, shop) should also be offered for free. Probably even some basic job skills courses. I realize that would end up costing a lot, but there are segments of society that never had the chance of any kind of education. Mostly this would be immigrants, but in some cases it would be people who were neglected by the system or those who are trying to learn life skills (read home economics). Generally the better educated a society is the more productive it is. It might well produce greater dividends then one would first think.
 

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A better way for schools to save money would be to get rid of this idea that EVERY child needs to go to college and succeed in life, and simply offer a solid, well-rounded education. A child can't learn Shakespeare until he learns how to read. He can't learn calculus until he can add and subtract. Fail students who don't learn, no matter what age they are. If a teacher can't teach, fire them.

We'd save money if we limited ourselves to teaching children how to learn, instead of how to pass a test. Then, once they are actually able to form a complete sentence, count higher than 10 (or 9, if they were in a farm accident), and can pick out their own state on a map, THEN we can do the things that cost money for those who are actually able to learn. There's no point in having a computer lab for kids who can't pass freshman algebra. What's the point in teaching a child to use MS Office when they can't spell their own name? Why are we teaching chemistry and biology to a kid who "passed" 6th grade science with a D? Advanced classes, and I shudder to call biology "advanced", cost more money than basic classes. High tech education costs more money than giving a kid a pencil and having him write down multiplication tables.

But if they can't do the basics, why spend the money on more advanced learning? So we can boast about how much we spend? Washington DC spends more than any other city in per-student spending. (or right up at the top, if it's changed) Look at their results. They're consistently dead last.

Want to save money? Stop offering shit that your students are too stupid to understand, and focus on providing a solid education in the basics.
 

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mmmm, can't argue with you there Murph. I try to think warm fuzzy thoughts when I can, but in moments of introspection I am willing to admit you are 100% correct. There are to many kids out there that will never, ever make it in to college and some probably will have a hard time spelling it. I agree that I think it is a waste attempting to educate people at a level who either have zero desire or no capability of learning at that level. If you have no desire or capability to manage intellectual persuits so be it. It doesn't mean you aren't going to contribute to society, but why attempt to teach you newtonian physics (or worse, Locke or Hobbes) if all you have the capability of being is a janitor or serving fast food.

Most people in the US in a survey done a few years back (10-15???) didn't know what DNA stood for (thank goodness a slightly larger group knew what it did, but I think that number was still less then half). So why attempt to spend the energy teaching them about it when most are never going to need the knowledge and evidently most aren't even going to remember (or couldn't grasp it to begin with). Might as well focus that energy on teaching the few who will need to know it or can grasp it what it is and maybe also teaching those who can't something more important to them.

Anyway, I digress.

I shall temporarily step away from my soap box. At least till tomorrow.
-Matt
 

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It is so hard to get into the "good" colleges nowadays. I'm in high school currently viewing my options, but it's kind of limited. Being in the top 10% of your class means having at least a 4.3 GPA. And thats only for your school, combined with all the other schools there's way too much competition.

Although most will just go to community college and transfer, to skip college as a whole isn't a very smart idea.

To save money, less emphasis should be put on sports, which takes a huge budget at my school and at many (there are exceptions of course). I love football, but we don't really need to spend almost $1mil on our field and stands.
 

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[quote author=ebhcr link=topic=71048.msg1250368#msg1250368 date=1173138238]
Although most will just go to community college and transfer, to skip college as a whole isn't a very smart idea.
[/quote]

The issue is though that a lot of people just don't have the intelligence or the drive to go to college. That or they go to college focusing on something completely unrelated to most of what they were taught in high school. I would agree with you that most people who don't get a college degree probably are not going to be the most successful in life, but the fact of the matter is a lot of people just aren't smart enough or just don't have the drive for it. So is it really useful to waste the energy (and money) to try to provide that education for them when they aren't going to wrap their minds around it or it will do them no good. Why not focus on education that would (maybe teaching skills like trade skills, cooking, etc).
-Matt

PS it depends on what you consider a good school. A nice fun study showed that people who went to a state school ended up being as professional successful as people who went to big name schools like Harvard and Yale. Now if the shool you are looking has a particularly good school for something, like going to Harvard Law or Harvard business it might net you a bit of an edge, might. State schools aren't that hard to get into so long as you do decent academically, I managed a 3.29 un-weighted GPA (because my HS didn't do that crap)(also I slacked majorly in HS)(took a bunch of honors, Gifted and talented, and AP courses though) and a 1370 SAT and had no problems getting into PSU and also UMCP (I actually got a $1500 a semester scholarship offered for the UMCP business school, but I decided on doing Information Science and Technology at PSU instead).
 

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[quote author=azazel1024 link=topic=71048.msg1250194#msg1250194 date=1173131822]
So why attempt to spend the energy teaching them about it when most are never going to need the knowledge and evidently most aren't even going to remember (or couldn't grasp it to begin with).
[/quote]

because then we can say "look at us, world! everyone that graduates high school in our country has college level physics under their belt!" Unfortunately, all we have are people that can pass an exam and then forget it the next day.

[quote author=ebhcr link=topic=71048.msg1250368#msg1250368 date=1173138238]
It is so hard to get into the "good" colleges nowadays.
[/quote]

there's no such thing. Decide what kind of school you want to go to. That could be based on their program in a particular field of study, the extracurricular activities they offer, proximity to good skiing (which is why I went to Montana State), male:female ratio, party reputation, etc. Visit the schools that meet your requirements, and apply to those you wish to go to.

It doesn't matter if you go to a big name school or a small college in the middle of nowhere. The only time it matters is when you're bragging to people at your high school graduation about where you're going next year or if you manage to get into one of the truly elite schools or a top program in your field, and even then it only matters if you plan to use that reputation to get you into a graduate program or your dream is to work for a company run by a Yale grad, etc.

For the overwhelming majority of us, all that matters is that you have a degree. Maybe a "better" school will get you in the door for your first job...MAYBE...but besides that it doesn't mean shit. You'll learn just as much no matter where you go for the sole reason that YOU are in complete control of your education.

[quote author=ebhcr link=topic=71048.msg1250368#msg1250368 date=1173138238]
To save money, less emphasis should be put on sports, which takes a huge budget at my school and at many (there are exceptions of course). I love football, but we don't really need to spend almost $1mil on our field and stands.
[/quote]

yeah, it gets pretty silly. I'm a big supporter of high school athletics programs, but some schools place it way to high when they should be focusing on academics. Athletics (either inter- or intramural) are an important part of education, but $1million? I can justify it if we're talking about a large school and the money is spent in a way that saves money down the road (field improvements to reduce maintenance costs, for example)

[quote author=azazel1024 link=topic=71048.msg1251548#msg1251548 date=1173192035]
The issue is though that a lot of people just don't have the intelligence or the drive to go to college. That or they go to college focusing on something completely unrelated to most of what they were taught in high school.
[/quote]

I blame it on "the greatest generation." They came out of WWII with the GI Bill and were able to go to college in large numbers. What does every parent want? For their child to be more successful than them. So now the minimum expectation for a large number of children became a college degree. And so on.

Now we have a situation where too many people have degrees, and they have been devalued. College is essentially just an extension of high school, just another step in education. It SHOULD be a place where people go to learn because they have a drive and passion for scholarship. As it stands, many college programs are just simple job training classes.

I know plenty of people that don't have a degree, and most of them do quite well. In fact, a few of them do a LOT better than me and are better at doing the same job I do. If we could de-emphasize getting a college degree and place more emphasis on building a solid academic foundation in elementary and high school, I think that people would be far better off with just skills training in a field that they are interested in.

You don't need a degree to push paper in an office. If you want to run the office, you probably will. But not everyone wants to do that. Some people are happy just having a job and doing it as well as they can. The fact that we see a degree as a requirement for even the most basic of jobs is silly. If kids were coming out of high school better prepared, we wouldn't need to send them to college to learn basic things that they should already know.
 
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