Wednesday, March 28, 2007

English Language Learning: Quick Hits

Petitions target immigration
Group seeks tougher Arizona laws against illegal migrants

"Saying that they will do what the government has failed to do, a group of citizens spearheaded by a lawmaker and a former gubernatorial candidate on Tuesday launched twin petition drives to create tougher immigration laws in Arizona.

One measure is aimed at punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. The second would require police agencies to enforce federal immigration laws."


Getting tougher on illegal immigration, but at what cost?

"At a news conference organized by House Democrats after the rally, he said many officers worry the law-enforcement initiative would distract them from their priority of pursuing violent criminals. And, citing a federal court case, he questioned whether police would be within their rights to enforce immigration law.

Sheridan Bailey, owner of a structural-steel plant in Phoenix and founder of Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, said the employer-sanctions measure would harshly punish employers if they're found to have illegal workers on the payroll."

So we are punishing businesses for hiring illegal immigrants and causing the police to add even more duties to their thinning ranks? Who benefits from this? Economic development doesn't and public safety doesn't. Isn't a good economy and public safety two very key factors for a thriving community?

Goddard to have say on migrant education
Dianna M. Náñez

"Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said his office will issue an opinion next week that should determine how Proposition 300 affects undocumented immigrants enrolled in adult-education classes in public schools."

"While answering questions, Goddard referred to a federal law that prohibits public schools from inquiring about a student's citizenship.

"Adult education is considered primary and secondary education. . . . Providers of that (education) may not inquire (about) citizenship," he said, adding that federal law supersedes state law."


I just hope 300 gets thrown out. This is such a bad proposition that will hurt our economy dearly. We need to help this essential piece of our workforce.

Next step in English learners ruling up to lawmakers
Lawmakers to decide on appeal of English learners school case

"Republican legislative leaders will huddle Wednesday with the state schools superintendent to decide what they should do in the wake of the latest ruling in the long-standing legal battle over English language learners."


I just don't understand. It costs money to fix the system, or it costs money to fight for keeping a system that isn't working. We lose just as much money fighting the positive change as we do fixing the system that benefits everyone. This change would improve Arizona students' chance at a better education and create more well-trained employees for the workforce. Why are we fighting this?


English-learner leader hired
"Former Nogales Unified School District Superintendent Kelt Cooper, who has been lauded for his successful reforms in teaching students English, was hired by the Arizona Department of Education to help schools statewide to improve.

Cooper will be director of technical services in the English acquisition section, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne announced Monday.

A federal judge ruled last week that the state's plan to educate children struggling to learn the English language violates federal law and puts hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds in jeopardy."

At least we are looking at solving the problem by hiring people that know how to do it. I hope we see some improvement. I will be optimistic and say we might see something good come out of this.

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