From New London, Connecticut comes a story that the district there will make " knowing American English" a requirement to graduate from their high schools by 2015.
"We know from colleges and employers, that our students are going to have to know how to read and write in English if they are going be successful," Supt. Nicholas Fischer, told the Day.
That is not to say that the school is instituting an "English only" program in which where students are told they can only speak English in the schools. New London's program is a literacy program in which students will be required to achieve a certain level of English reading and writing literacy by the 10th grade.
The school system will offer several ways for students to fulfill their English language requirement and they have until the age of 21 to meet it. "
I'm thinking some of this is driven by district costs but they may very well feel kids are not being served by graduating without English-language competency. (And, if you call an elevator a "lift", I guess you get dinged for not speaking American English.)
I have mixed feelings on this issue (particularly for newer immigrants - is it the kid's fault he gets here in 10th grade?) but I feel that, in some ways, districts drag out the process of learning English well enough to receive instruction and/or pass state tests. Maybe this district is doing some kids a favor and some kids a disservice.
What do you think?